Louis I of Etruria

Louis I
King of Etruria
Reign 21 March 1801 – 27 May 1803
Predecessor Ferdinand III as Grand Duke of Tuscany
Successor Louis II
Born (1773-07-05)5 July 1773
Piacenza, Duchy of Parma
Died 27 May 1803(1803-05-27) (aged 29)
Florence, Kingdom of Etruria
Consort Maria Louisa of Spain
Issue Charles II, Duke of Parma
Maria Luisa Carlota, Hereditary Princess of Saxony
Full name
Louis Francis Philibert
House Bourbon-Parma
Father Ferdinand, Duke of Parma
Mother Maria Amalia of Austria

Louis I (5 July 1773 – 27 May 1803) was the first of the two kings of Etruria. Louis was the son of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, and Maria Amalia of Austria.

Swap of Parma and Etruria

While Louis was staying in Spain, the Duchy of Parma had been occupied by French troops in 1796. Napoleon Bonaparte, who had conquered most of Italy and wanted to gain Spain as an ally against England, proposed to compensate the House of Bourbon for their loss of the Duchy of Parma with the Kingdom of Etruria, a new state that he created from the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. This was agreed upon in the Treaty of Aranjuez.

Louis had to receive his investiture from Napoleon in Paris, before taking possession of Etruria. Louis, his wife and his son travelled incognito through France under the name of the Count of Livorno. Having been invested as King in Paris, Louis and his family arrived at his new capital Florence in August 1801.

In 1802, both Louis and his pregnant wife travelled to Spain to attend the double-wedding of Maria Luisa's brother Ferdinand and her youngest sister Maria Isabel. Offshore at Barcelona, Maria Louisa gave birth to her daughter Marie Louise Charlotte. The couple returned in December of that year, after having been notified of the death of Louis's father.

Back in Etruria, Louis's health worsened, and in May 1803, he died at the age of thirty, possibly due to an epileptic crisis.

He was succeeded by his son, Charles Louis as King Louis II of Etruria, under the regency of his mother Maria Louisa.

Marriage and issue

In 1795, Louis came to the Spanish court to finish his education and also to marry one of the daughters of King Charles IV of Spain. On 25 August 1795, he married his first cousin Maria Louisa of Spain at Madrid and was made an Infante of Spain.

The marriage between the two different personalities turned out to be happy, though it was clouded by Louis's ill health: He was frail, suffering chest problems, and since a childhood accident when he hit his head on a marble table, suffered from symptoms that have been identified as epileptic fits. As the years went on, his health deteriorated, and he grew to be increasingly dependent on his wife. The young couple remained in Spain during the early years of their marriage.

The couple had two children:


Louis I of Etruria
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 5 July 1773 Died: 27 May 1803
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ferdinand III
as Grand Duke of Tuscany
King of Etruria
Succeeded by
Louis II

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