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Portrait by Vicente López y Portaña, 1829
|King of the Two Sicilies|
|Reign||4 January 1825 -|
|Born||19 August 1777|
Naples, Kingdom of Naples
|Died||8 November 1830 (aged 53)|
Naples, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
|Father||Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies|
|Mother||Maria Carolina of Austria|
Francis I of the Two Sicilies (Italian: Francesco Gennaro Giuseppe; 19 August 1777 - 8 November 1830) was King of the Two Sicilies from 1825 to 1830 and regent of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1806 to 1814.
Francis was born the son of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria in Naples. He was also the nephew of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, the last King and Queen of France before the first French Republic.
At the death of his older brother Carlo, Duke of Calabria, Francis became the heir-apparent to the throne and Duke of Calabria, the traditional title of the heir apparent to the Neapolitan throne.
In 1796 Francis married his double first cousin Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, daughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor. When she died, he married his first cousin María Isabella, daughter of King Charles IV of Spain.
After the Bourbon family fled from Naples to Sicily in 1806, Lord William Bentinck, the British resident, had drafted a new constitution among British and French lines. Ferdinand agreed to abdicate his throne, with Francis being appointed regent in 1812.
On the abdication of Napoleon I, his father returned to Naples and suppressed the Sicilian constitution, incorporating his two kingdoms into that of the Two Sicilies (1816); Francis then assumed the revived title of duke of Calabria. While still heir apparent he professed liberal ideas, and on the outbreak of the revolution of 1820 he accepted the regency, apparently in a friendly spirit towards the new constitution.
On succeeding to the throne in 1825, however, he pursued a conservative course. He took little part in the government, which he left in the hands of favourites and police officials, and lived with his mistresses, surrounded by soldiers, ever in dread of assassination. During his reign the only revolutionary movement was the outbreak on the Cilento (1828), repressed by the Marquis Delcarretto, an ex-Liberal. He was, however, successful in having the Austrian occupation force withdrawn (1827), thereby relieving a large financial burden on the treasury.
During his reign, the Royal Order of Francis I was founded to reward civil merit.
With Maria Clementina of Austria:
With Isabella of Spain:
|Ancestors of Francis I of the Two Sicilies|
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Francis I. of the Two Sicilies". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 936.