Murat, Joachim (Grand-Duc de Berg et de Clèves)

Joachim Murat = Joaquín Murat

b. 25 Mar 1767, La Bastide-Fortunière, Lot, France
d. 13 Oct 1815, Pizzo, Calabria

Title: Lugarteniente general del Reino (Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom)
Term: 4 May 1808 - 3 Jul 1808
Chronology: 4 May 1808, appointed by decree of Carlos IV [1][2]
25 May 1808, confirmed in office by decree of Napoléon Ier [3]
10 Jun 1808, confirmed in office by decree of José Napoleón I [4]
3 Jul 1808, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon leaving national territory [5]
Names/titles: Baptised (26 Mar 1767): Joachim Murat-Jordy [6]; Prince Murat [from 1 Feb 1805];
  Duc de Berg et de Clèves [15 Mar 1806 - 25 Jul 1806]; Grand-Duc de Berg et de Clèves (in Spanish documents: gran duque de Berg y de Cleves) [25 Jul 1806 - 18 Jul 1808]
Re di Napoli e di Sicilia (King of Naples and Sicily) as Gioacchino Napoleone (also in official use: Re delle Due Sicilie [King of Two Sicilies]) [1 Aug 1808 - 21 May 1815]
Son of an innkeeper; was sent to study first to Cahors and then to Toulouse with a view to become a priest; enlisted into chasseur regiment (23 Feb 1787); was involved in an obscure mutiny and later discharged (1789), returning in disgrace to his parents' home; served in menial and unrewarding jobs; participated in the meetings of local Jacobin club and was soon recognized for his oratory; sent by his canton to the Fête de la Fédération in Paris (14 Jul 1790), where he apparently made useful contacts; admitted into the constitutional guard (garde constitutionnelle) of King Louis XVI (8 Feb 1792), but resigned (4 Mar 1792) with a scathing letter to the local authorities, denouncing the "garde" as a nest of royalists; rejoined his chasseur regiment; promoted to a sub-officer rank of maréchal des logis (15 May 1792); further promotions included second lieutenant (15 Oct 1792), lieutenant (21 Oct 1792), captain (14 Apr 1793), chef d'escadrons (provisionally 1 May 1793, confirmed 14 Aug 1793); distinguished himself during the suppression of the royalist rebellion in Paris (5 Oct 1795); accompanied Napoléon Bonaparte to Italy as aide-de-camp (1796-1797); promoted to chef de brigade (2 Feb 1796, retroactive to 18 Nov 1793), brigade general (10 May 1796); participated in military campaigns in Egypt, Italy, Austria and Prussia; promoted to division general (25 Jul 1799, approved 19 Oct 1799 by Directoire exécutif); was actively involved in the coup of 18 Brumaire, Year VIII (9 Nov 1799 - 10 Nov 1799), leading his grenadiers to disperse the Council of Five Hundred at Saint-Cloud; served as commander of the consular guard (from 30 Nov 1799); married Marie-Annonciade "Caroline" Bonaparte, sister of Napoléon (civil ceremony 20 Jan 1800, religious ceremony 4 Jan 1802); participated in another Italian campaign (1800-1801); was made commander-in-chief of the French troops deployed in the Cisalpine Republic (1801); served as commander of the first military division and governor of Paris (1804); appointed maréchal d'Empire (19 May 1804) and grand-amiral (1 Feb 1805); elected deputy of the Corps législatif from the département of Lot (17 Aug 1804); made grand aigle de la Légion d'honneur (2 Feb 1805); commanded the cavalry of the Grand Army in the Battle of Austerlitz (2 Dec 1805); was made Duke of Berg and Clèves (investiture 15 Mar 1806, decree of 30 Mar 1806) and took residence in Düsseldorf, entering the city 24 Mar 1806; elevated to Grand Duke of Berg and Clèves (with ratification of the treaty establishing the Confédération du Rhin 25 Jul 1806); called by Napoléon to lead the French armies into Spain and arrived to Madrid 23 Mar 1808; brutally suppressed the anti-French revolt in Madrid (2 May 1808); approved as president of the Junta Suprema de Gobierno (4 May 1808) and served as Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom (4 May 1808 - 3 Jul 1808) in absence of Carlos IV and José Napoleón I; left Madrid 17 Jun 1808, reaching Bayonne 3 Jul 1808; was appointed King of Two Sicilies (15 Jul 1808, effective 1 Aug 1808) and entered Naples 6 Sep 1808; ceded Berg and Clèves to Napoléon (letter of 18 Jul 1808); accompanied Napoléon on the expedition to Russia (1812); took over the command when Napoléon left the army (5 Dec 1812); abandoned the army (16 Jan 1813) and returned to Naples (4 Feb 1813); joined Napoléon during the campaign in Germany (1813); concluded an alliance with Austria (8 Jan 1814), abandoning his claim to Sicily; during the brief restoration of Napoléon (Cent-Jours, 1815), he attempted to induce the Italians to arm for their national independence; was defeated by the Austrians at Tolentino, Central Italy (3 May 1815) and returned to Naples (18 May 1815); sailed for France (21 May 1815) and landed at Cannes (25 May 1815); offered his services to Napoléon who refused to meet him; upon the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty, fled to Corsica (landed 25 Aug 1815); left the island (28 Sep 1815) and landed near Pizzo, Calabria (8 Oct 1815), to regain his possessions; was captured and sentenced to death by Neapolitan court-martial.
Biographical sources: "Murat", by Jean Tulard (Fayard, 1999); "Dictionnaire biographique des généraux & amiraux français de la Révolution et de l'Empire: 1792-1814", ed. by Georges Six (Saffroy, 1971).

[1] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 13 de Mayo de 1808. Núm. 46. P. 457.
[2] The original decree was signed by Carlos IV at Bayonne 4 May 1808 and received by Murat in Madrid 7 May 1808, appointing him as Teniente general del reino acting for Carlos IV. Murat assumed the office with the title of Lugar-Teniente General del reino (in use from 8 May 1808); continues in office being confirmed by Napoléon Ier as Lugar-Teniente General del reino (25 May 1808) and by José I Napoleón as Lugar-Teniente General (10 Jun 1808).
[3] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 3 de Junio de 1808. Núm. 53. PP. 529-530.
[4] Gazeta extraordinaria de Madrid, del martes 14 de Junio de 1808. Núm. 58. P. 575.
[5] In his memoirs, Jean-Baptiste-Antoine-Marcelin, Baron de Marbot confirms that due to his illness Murat left Madrid 17 Jun 1808 and reached Bayonne by 3 Jul 1808 (see "The Memoirs of Baron de Marbot", translated by Arthur John Butler [London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1892], Vol I, p. 322). The departure of Murat was not made public and Gazeta de Madrid continued to publish acts and reports by his authority (see Gazeta de Madrid, del jueves 14 de Julio de 1808. Núm. 86. P. 802) until the arrival of King José Napoleón I to Madrid 20 Jul 1808.
[6] "Murat. La date de sa naissance" in L'Intermédiaire des chercheurs et curieux, 74:15-16.
Image: portrait by François Gerard.
Last updated on: 11 Jul 2014 09:27:22