Benedetto Brin

For the battleship of this name, see Italian battleship Benedetto Brin.
Benedetto Brin

Benedetto Brin
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
Monarch Umberto I
Preceded by Antonio Starabba, Marchese di Rudinì
Succeeded by Alberto de Blanc
Naval Minister
In office
Monarch Victor Emmanuel II (to 1878)
Umberto I (from 1878)
Personal details
Born 17 May 1833
Died 24 May 1898 (aged 65)
Nationality Italian

Benedetto Brin (17 May 1833, Turin, Piedmont  24 May 1898, Rome, Lazio) was an Italian naval administrator and politician.


Born in Turin, he worked with distinction as a naval engineer until the age of forty. In 1873, Admiral Simone Antonio Saint-Bon, Italy's Naval Minister, appointed him undersecretary of state. The two men collaborated on major projects: Saint-Bon conceived a type of ship, Brin made the plans and directed its construction.[1]

On the advent of the Left to power in 1876, Brin was appointed Naval Minister by Agostino Depretis, a capacity in which he continued the policies of Saint-Bon, while enlarging and completing the project in such way as to form the first organic scheme for the development of the Italian fleet. The huge ironclads of the Italia and Caio Duilio classes were his work, though he afterwards abandoned their type in favor of smaller and faster armored cruisers of the Vettor Pisani and the Giuseppe Garibaldi classes.[2] Through his initiative, the Italian naval industry, almost non-existent in 1873, made rapid progress.[1]

During his eleven years in the ministry (1876-1878 with Depretis, 1884-1891 with Depretis and Francesco Crispi, 1896-1898 with Antonio Starabba, Marchese di Rudinì), he succeeded in creating large private shipyards, engine works and metallurgical works for the production of armour, steel plates and guns.[1]

In 1892, he entered the Giovanni Giolitti cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs, accompanying, in that capacity, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita to Potsdam, but chose not to act against France on the occasion of the massacre of Italian workmen at Aigues-Mortes. He died while Naval Minister in the Rudini cabinet.[1]


Plaque dedicated to Benedetto Brin on Via Santi Apostoli, Rome.
Preceded by
Antonio Starabba, Marchese di Rudinì
Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Alberto de Blanc


  1. 1 2 3 4  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Brin, Benedetto". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 571.
  2. Macintyre, Donald; Bathe, Basil W (1974). Man of War a History of the Combat Vessel. Reference to designer of the Giuseppe Garibaldi-class cruiser by Benedetto Brin. Mcgraw-hill Inc. p. 100. ISBN 9780070445857.
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