Carlos IV

Carlos IV

b. 11 Nov 1748, Portici, Kingdom of Sicily [1]
d. 19 Jan 1819, Naples, Kingdom of Sicily [2]

Title: Por la gracia de Dios, Rey de Castilla, de León, de Aragón, de las Dos Sicilias, de Jerusalén, de Navarra, de Granada, de Toledo, de Valencia, de Galicia, de Mallorca, de Menorca, de Sevilla, de Cerdeña, de Córdoba, de Córcega, de Murcia, de Jaén, de los Algarbes, de Algeciras, de Gibraltar, de las Islas Canarias, de las Indias Orientales y Occidentales, de las Islas y Tierra-Firme del Mar Océano, Archiduque de Austria, Duque de Borgoña, de Brabante y de Milán, Conde de Habsburgo, de Flandes, del Tirol y de Barcelona, Señor de Vizcaya y de Molina, etc. (By the Grace of God, King of Castile, of Leon, of Aragon, of the Two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, of Navarre, of Granada, of Toledo, of Valencia, of Galicia, of Mallorca, of Minorca, of Seville, of Sardinia, of Cordoba, of Corsica, of Murcia, of Jaen, of the Algarve, of Algeciras, of Gibraltar, of the Canary Islands, of the East and West Indies, of the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Continent, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, of Brabant and Milan, Count of Habsburg, of Flanders, of Tyrol, and of Barcelona, Lord of Vizcaya and of Molina, etc.) [3]
Term: 14 Dec 1788 - 19 Mar 1808
Chronology: 14 Dec 1788, succeeded to the throne
19 Mar 1808, signed a royal decree (dated 19 Mar 1808, Aranjuez) enacting his abdication in favor of his son, Fernando [4]
21 Mar 1808, signed a proclamation retracting his abdication (dated 21 Mar 1808, Aranjuez) and continued to assert his continuance in office [5]
5 May 1808, abdicated his rights to the throne of the Spains and Indies in favor of Napoléon Ier, Art.1 of the Treaty of Bayonne (signed 5 May 1808, Bayonne, France; published in Madrid 14 Oct 1808) [6]
6 May 1808, Fernando VII signed a letter of abdication in favor of Carlos IV (dated 6 May 1808, Bayonne) [7]
8 May 1808, Carlos IV signed a letter to the Consejo de Castilla informing on his abdication of rights (dated 8 May 1808, Bayonne) [8]
10 May 1808, Consejo de Castilla received a copy of abdication of Fernando VII and his letter to Napoléon Ier [9]
Names/titles: Baptized (12 Nov 1748): Carlos Antonio Pascual Francisco Javier Juan Nepomuceno José Genaro Serafín Diego de Borbón y Sajonia; Príncipe de Asturias (Prince of Asturias) [from 18 Aug 1759]
Biography:

Second son of King Carlo IV of Two Sicilies (future Carlos III of Spain) and Maria Amalia Christina of Saxony; was recognized as heir to the thrones of Sicilies passing over his elder brother, Felipe, as mentally retarded; succeeded to the title of Prince of Asturias upon the accession of his father to the Spanish throne (18 Aug 1759); married Maria Luisa Teresa of Parma, daughter of Filippo I, duke of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla (4 Sep 1765); continued the policy of his father and retained José Moñino y Redondo, conde de Floridablanca as chief minister; lacked talents for governing and was thought to be widely influenced by his wife; with the outbreak of the revolution in France, chose Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, conde de Aranda as a new head of administration, but soon dismissed him to replace with Manuel de Godoy y Álvarez de Faria, a favorite of royal family; distanced himself from active involvement in politics dominated by Godoy; following the French invasion and partial occupation of Spanish territories, consented to peace treaty with France concluded at Basel (1795); became increasingly dependent on alliance with the French Republic assured by the Treaty of San Ildefonso (1796); following a series of defeats in war with Great Britain, dismissed Godoy (1797); unable to formulate an independent foreign policy, was compelled to restore Godoy in power and to make a secret alliance with Napoléon Bonaparte (treaty of San Ildefonso, 1801); was convinced to invade Portugal (1801) in the interests of France; maintained unbeneficial alliance with France resulting in resumption of warfare with Great Britain and disastrous defeat of the Spanish and French fleets at Trafalgar (1805); escaped deposition in abortive coup (1807) prepared by the leaders of the Escorial conspiracy including his son, Fernando); on the pretext of reinforcing an army occupying Portugal, allowed the French troops to enter Spain that caused a strong sentiment against the French and Godoy; abdicated the throne (19 Mar 1808) after two days of popular uprising in Aranjuez; hastily retracted his abdication and challenged the authority of his son who acceded as Fernando VII; in attempt to restore his power, turned to Napoléon Ier as ultimate arbiter in dynastic dispute and arrived to Bayonne, France; after days of negotiations, signed the Treaty of Bayonne (5 May 1808) in which he resigned his rights to the crown of the Spains and the Indies in favor of Napoléon Ier; resided in France and then moved to Rome after the fall of the French Empire; died while visiting his brother King Fernando (Ferdinando I of Two Sicilies) at Naples. Biography source: [10]


[1] Gaceta de Madrid, del martes 24 de Diciembre de 1748. Núm. 52. P. 411: "De Napoles ſe aviſa, que el dia 11. de este mes a las 3. de mañana havia dado à luz con toda felicidad la Reyna de las Dos Sicilias un Principe, a quien havia bautizado el dia ſiguente el Cardenal Spineli, Arzobiſpo de aquella Ciudad, poniendole los nombres de Carlos Antonio Jayme;"; earlier report included wrong date (12 Nov 1748), see Gaceta de Madrid, del martes 3 de Diciembre de 1748. Núm. 49. P. 391.
[2] "The Troubled Trinity: Godoy and the Spanish Monarchs", by Douglas Hilt (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1987), pp. 263-264. Since Carlos IV resided in Rome in the years of exile, some authors believed that he died in this city. As a matter of fact, Carlos was visiting the court of his brother Fernando IV, at Naples, when he became sick suffering from fever and gout. The king was "granted his quietus" at 01:20 in the morning of 19 Jan 1819 and died the same day. This date is also confirmed by official report on his burial at Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial (see Gaceta de Madrid, del sabado 25 de Setiembre de 1819. Núm. 118. PP. 966-970).
[3] On coins: DEI GRATIA HISPAN[IARUM] ET IND[IARUM] REX (By the Grace of God, King of the Spains and the Indies)
[4] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 25 de Marzo de 1808. Núm. 25. PP. 297-298.
[5] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 13 de Mayo de 1808. Núm. 46. PP. 454-455; terrified by the news of arrest of his favorite, Godoy, and acts of violence in the course of popular revolt, Carlos IV signed a decree of abdication (19 Mar 1808); however, encouraged by support of Joachim Murat, commander-in-chief of the French troops, who opposed the accession of Fernando VII, Carlos IV signed (21 Mar 1808) a proclamation (protesta) annoumcing his retraction of the abdication.
[6] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 14 de Octubre de 1808. Núm. 134. PP. 1293-1294.
[7] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 13 de Mayo de 1808. Núm. 46. PP. 458-459; although logically preceding the abdication of Carlos IV in favor of Napoléon Ier (dated 5 May 1808), the abdication of Fernando VII bears the date of 6 May 1808.
[8] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 20 de Mayo de 1808. Núm. 48. PP. 482-483.
[9] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 13 de Mayo de 1808. Núm. 46. PP. 458-459.
[10] "Estudios de la vida, reinado, proscripción y muerte de Carlos IV y María Luisa de Borbón: Reyes de España", by Juan Pérez de Guzmán y Gallo (Madrid: Imprenta de Jaime Ratés Martín, 1909).
Image: portrait by José Vergara (1789).
Last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 04:10:28