Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg ([ø.ʒɛn də‿bo.aʁ.nɛ]; 3 September 1781 – 21 February 1824) was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.
He was born in Paris, France, and became the stepson and adopted child (but not the heir to the imperial throne) of Napoleon I. His biological father was executed during the revolutionary Reign of Terror. He commanded the Army of Italy and was Viceroy of Italy under his stepfather.
Historians consider him one of the ablest of Napoleon's relatives.
|Eugène de Beauharnais|
|French Prince, Prince of Venice, Grand Duke of Frankfurt, Duke of Leuchtenberg, Prince of Eichstätt|
Portrait by Andrea Appiani, 1810.
|Viceroy of Italy|
|Term||5 June 1805 – 11 April 1814|
|Duke of Leuchtenberg|
Prince of Eichstätt
|Tenure||14 November 1817 – 21 February 1824|
|Successor||Auguste de Beauharnais|
|Born||3 September 1781|
|Died||21 February 1824 (aged 42)|
Princess Augusta of Bavaria (m. 1806)
|Issue||Josephine, Queen of Sweden|
Eugénie, Princess of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Auguste, Prince Consort of Portugal
Amélie, Empress of Brazil
Théodoline, Countess Wilhelm of Württemberg
Maximilian, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg
|Father||Alexandre de Beauharnais|
|Mother||Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie|
Eugène's first campaign was in the Vendée, where he fought at Quiberon. However, within a year his mother Joséphine had arranged his return to Paris. In the Italian campaigns of 1796–1797, Eugène served as aide-de-camp to his stepfather, whom he also accompanied to Egypt. In Egypt, Eugène was wounded during the Siege of Acre (1799) and returned to France with Napoleon in the autumn of 1799, helping to bring about the reconciliation of the General and his mother, who had become estranged due to the extramarital affairs of both. During the Coup of Brumaire, Eugène accompanied Napoleon to Saint-Cloud, where the legislative assemblies were brought into submission.
When Napoleon became First Consul following Brumaire, Eugène became a captain in the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Consular Guard. With his squadron took part in the Battle of Marengo where, though half his men fell, he led charge after charge.
By a decree of 1 February 1805 Eugène was created Arch-Chancellor of State the French Empire.
As commander of the Imperial Guard (successor to the Consular Guard), Eugène preceded his step-father to Milan ahead of Napoleon's coronation as King of Italy on 26 May 1805. Napoleon had originally intended to place his brother Joseph on the Italian throne and then, after Joseph's refusal, his nephew Napoléon Charles, the son of Louis Bonaparte and Eugène's sister, Hortense. However, both Joseph and Louis refused and so Napoleon instead placed the Iron Crown upon his own head. During the coronation Napoleon handed the royal ring and mantle to his stepson and on 7 June 1805 announced Eugène's appointment as Viceroy of Italy to the Italian Legislative Assembly.
During the War of the Fifth Coalition, Eugène was put in command of the Army of Italy, with General Étienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald as his military advisor. In April 1809 he fought and lost the Battle of Sacile against the Austrian army of the Archduke John, but Eugène's troops decisively won the rematch at the Battle of the Piave in May and the Battle of Raab in June. After the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Napoleon recalled the Army of Italy to Austria. After joining the main army on the island of Lobau in the Danube, Eugène took part in the Battle of Wagram.
During the Russian campaign, Eugène again commanded the Army of Italy (IV Corps) with which he fought in the Battle of Borodino and the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. After Napoleon and then Joachim Murat had left the retreating army, Eugène took command of the remnants and led it back to Germany in 1813.
During the campaign of 1813, Eugène fought in the Battle of Lützen. Napoleon then sent him back to Italy, where he organised the defence against the Austrians, holding out on the Mincio until the abdication in 1814. After the fall of Napoleon in 1814, Eugène retired to Munich and at the behest of his father-in-law King Maximilian of Bavaria, did not get involved with Napoleon and France again.
On 14 June 1804 he was made an official member of the imperial family as His Imperial Highness, French Prince (Prince français) Eugène de Beauharnais. By a statute of 5 June 1805 the Emperor added Viceroy of Italy to his titles.
Eugène was adopted by Napoleon on 12 January 1806, though excluded from succession to the French Empire. On 16 February 1806, Eugène was declared heir presumptive to the Kingdom of Italy, in the absence of a second son of Napoleon. On 20 December 1807 he was given the title of Prince de Venise ("Prince of Venice"), a title created on 30 March 1806, when the Venetian Province taken from Austria in 1805 was united to Bonaparte's Kingdom of Italy.
In 1810, Napoleon used his influence over Karl von Dalberg, Archbishop of Regensburg and Grand Duke of Frankfurt, to name Eugène as constitutional heir of the grand duchy. Von Dalberg abdicated on 26 October 1813 due to Frankfurt's imminent conquest by the allied armies, and Eugène became nominal grand duke until Frankfurt was occupied by the allies in December of that same year.
A further imperial sinecure was Archichancelier d'État de l'Empire de France ("Archchancellor of State of the Empire of France").
On 14 January 1806, two days after his adoption by Napoleon, Eugène married Princess Augusta Amalia Ludovika Georgia of Bavaria (1788–1851), eldest daughter of Napoleon's ally, King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. On 14 November 1817, his father-in-law made him Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince of Eichstätt.
Eugène and Augusta had seven children:
Eugène de Beauharnais died on 21 February 1824 in Munich.
A biography by Carola Oman, Napoleon's Viceroy, Eugène de Beauharnais, appeared in 1966.
|Ancestors of Eugène de Beauharnais|
Eugène de BeauharnaisBorn: 3 September 1781 Died: 21 February 1824
|New title|| Duke of Leuchtenberg
Prince of Eichstätt
14 November 1817 – 21 February 1824
Auguste de Beauharnais
The Battle of Caldiero on 15 November 1813 saw an army of the First French Empire under Eugène de Beauharnais opposed to an Austrian Empire army led by Johann von Hiller. Eugène, who was the Viceroy of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy inflicted a defeat on Hiller's troops, driving them from Caldiero. The action took place during the War of the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Caldiero is located 15 kilometres (9 mi) east of Verona on the Autostrada A4.
When Austria entered the war against Napoleon in August 1813, Eugène attempted to defend the Illyrian Provinces east of Italy. Ultimately, the Austrians compelled the Franco-Italian army to retreat to the Adige River. As Hiller's forces closed in on Verona from the north and east, Eugène tried to fend them off. The viceroy pushed back the northern force, then rushed back to attack Paul von Radivojevich's Austrians at Caldiero. On the 15th, his divisions under François Jean Baptiste Quesnel and Marie François Rouyer drove the Austrians back to Soave. Then Eugène pulled most of his troops back to the west bank of the Adige, leaving only Pierre-Louis Binet de Marcognet's division on the east bank. Hiller attacked Marcognet between San Michele and San Martino Buon Albergo on the 19th, but was repulsed after a hard fight. By this time, a new Austrian threat appeared to the south at Ferrara.Battle of Maloyaroslavets
The Battle of Maloyaroslavets took place on 24 October 1812, between the Russians, under Marshal Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, and part of the corps of Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoleon's stepson, under General Alexis Joseph Delzons which numbered about 20,000 strong.Battle of Piave River (1809)
The Battle of Piave River was fought on 8 May 1809 between the Franco-Italian army under the command of Eugène de Beauharnais and an Austrian army led by Archduke John of Austria. The Austrian commander made a stand behind the Piave River but he suffered a defeat at the hands of his numerically superior foes. The combat took place near Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.
The initial Austrian invasion of Venetia succeeded in driving the Franco-Italian defenders back to Verona. At the beginning of May, news of Austrian defeats in Bavaria and inferiority in numbers caused Archduke John to begin retreating to the northeast. When he heard that his enemies were crossing the Piave, the Austrian commander turned back to give battle, intending to slow Eugène's pursuit of his army.
Eugène ordered his vanguard across the river early in the morning. It soon ran into vigorous Austrian resistance, but the arrival of French cavalry stabilized the situation by mid-morning. Rapidly rising waters hampered the buildup of French infantry reinforcements and prevented a significant portion of Eugène's army from crossing at all. In the late afternoon, Eugène launched his main attack which turned John's left flank and finally overran his main line of defense. Damaged but not destroyed, the Austrians continued their withdrawal into Carinthia (in modern-day Austria) and Carniola (in modern-day Slovenia).Battle of Sacile
The Battle of Sacile (also known as the Battle of Fontana Fredda) on 16 April 1809 and its companion Clash at Pordenone on 15 April saw an Austrian army commanded by Archduke John of Austria defeat a Franco-Italian army led by Eugène de Beauharnais and force it to retreat. Sacile proved to be the most notable victory of John's career. The action took place east of the Livenza River near Sacile in modern-day Italy during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.
In April 1809, Archduke John quickly invaded Venetia in northeastern Italy. On 15 April at Pordenone, the Austrian advance guard routed the French rear guard, inflicting heavy losses. Undeterred by this setback and believing he enjoyed a numerical superiority over his opponents, Eugène attacked the Austrians east of Sacile the following day. Though the two sides were equal in numbers of foot soldiers, the Austrians possessed a two-to-one advantage in cavalry, and this turned out to be a key factor in their victory.
Eugène withdrew his army 130 kilometres (81 mi) to a defensible position at Verona on the Adige river, where he reorganized his army and received reinforcements. At Verona, the Franco-Italian army was secure from Archduke John's army advancing from the east and a second Austrian column threatening it from the Tyrol in the north. By the end of April, news of French victories in the Danube valley caused John to fall back to the east, with Eugène in pursuit.Battle of Tarvis (1809)
The Battle of Tarvis from 16 to 17 May 1809, the Storming of the Malborghetto Blockhouse from 15 to 17 May 1809, and the Storming of the Predil Blockhouse from 15 to 18 May saw the Franco-Italian army of Eugène de Beauharnais attacking Austrian Empire forces under Albert Gyulai. Eugène crushed Gyulai's division in a pitched battle near Tarvisio, then an Austrian town known as Tarvis. At nearby Malborghetto Valbruna (Malbotghet Wolfstal) and Predil Pass, small garrisons of Grenz infantry heroically defended two forts before being overwhelmed by sheer numbers. The Franco-Italian capture of the key mountain passes allowed their forces to invade Austrian Kärnten during the War of the Fifth Coalition. Tarvisio is located in far northeast Italy, near the borders of both Austria and Slovenia.
Eugène's main column marched up the Fella River valley, which runs east and west in the area of the fighting. On 15 May the column found itself blocked by the Malborghetto fort. Attacking in greatly superior force, Eugène's troops captured the fort on the morning of the 17th. Later that day, the Franco-Italians routed Gyulai's division from its positions near Tarvisio (Tarvis), inflicting heavy losses. A second Franco-Italian column, attempting to join Eugène from the south, was halted on the 15th by the Predil fort. On 18 May, Predil fell to assault and the defenders were killed to the last man. Monuments at both forts honor the Austrians who gave their lives in the fighting.Battle of the Mincio River (1814)
In the War of the Sixth Coalition, the Battle of the Mincio River was fought on 8 February 1814 and resulted in an inconclusive engagement between the French under Eugène de Beauharnais and the Austrians under Field Marshal Heinrich von Bellegarde. Fought on the same ground as Napoleon's victory at the Battle of Borghetto in 1796, the battle was not as decisive as Eugène hoped, and in the end it had little significant impact upon the war, whose outcome was to be decided in France rather than Italy.Claude de Beauharnais (1680–1738)
Claude de Beauharnais (22 September 1674–15 January 1738) was a French nobleman. He was sieur de Beaumont et de Bellechauve, captain des vaisseaux du roi, and a knight of the Order of Saint Louis. He was the son of François IV de Beauharnais, seigneur de La Boische and his wife Marie Marguerite-Françoise Puyvart de Chastullé.
In 1713, Claude de Beauharnais married Renée Hardouineau (daughter of Pierre Hardouineau, seigneur de La Laudanière and his wife Renée Le Pays de Beauville). They had two children:
François V de Beauharnais (February 08, 1714 - June 18, 1800), seigneur de Beaumont et de Bellechauve, marquis de la Ferté-Beauharnais.
Claude de Beauharnais, 1st comte des Roches-Baritaud (1717–1784), who in 1753 married Anne Mouchard de Chaban (1738–1813) (three children, including Claude de Beauharnais).Through his son François, Claude became grandfather of Alexandre de Beauharnais, great-grandfather of Eugène de Beauharnais and Hortense de Beauharnais. He is also the direct ancestor of Nicolas de Leuchtenberg.Convention of Mantua
The Convention of Mantua was an agreement signed by Eugène de Beauharnais and Heinrich Graf von Bellegarde on 24 April 1814 that returned the territories of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy to provisional Austrian rule.
Napoleon created himself King of Italy on 17 March 1805, and he was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan on 26 May 1805. He made his stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy on 5 June 1805, and later his heir presumptive to the Italian crown.
After being defeated by the Sixth Coalition in 1813-14, Napoleon abdicated in favour of his son, the King of Rome, on 6 April 1814. He signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau on 11 April, under which he abdicated again, unconditionally, and was exiled to Elba. Eugène found himself surrounded by hostile forces, with the main Austrian force advancing from the east, the British, Sicilians and more Austrians attacking from Genoa, and forces from the Kingdom of Naples commanded by its king, Joachim Murat, advancing from the south. The Agreement of Schiarino-Rizzino was agreed on 16 April outside Mantua, which enabled Eugène to keep control of his territory. Eugène attempted to have himself crowned as the new King of Italy, but he was opposed by the Senate of the Kingdom, and an insurrection in Milan on 20 April ended his hopes of taking the Italian crown.
Eugène signed the Convention of Mantua on 24 April, allowing the Austrian commander, Bellegarde, to cross the River Minco and occupy Milan, and northern Italy returned to Austrian rule on 27 April. Eugène retired to Munich, the capital of his father-in-law, Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria.
Austrian control of Lombardy and Venetia was confirmed by the Congress of Vienna, and the territories were joined as the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia on 7 April 1815. The Papal States were returned to the Pope.Crown of Bavaria
The Crown of the King of Bavaria is a part of the Bavarian Crown Jewels and was ordered and designed 1804–1807 for Maximilian I after Napoleon had raised Bavaria to kingdom status.
It was commissioned to the French goldsmith Jean-Baptiste de Lasne, who drew inspiration from the crown of Louis XV of France.
Maximilian's alliance with Emperor Napoleon earned him the royal title and vast territorial increases at the Treaty of Pressburg (1805). This made him one of the chief members of the Confederation of the Rhine. His daughter was married to Napoleon's stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais.
Maximilian I ordered the regalia which can be seen today in the Treasury at the Residenz in Munich. Made by Biennais, the most famous French goldsmith of the day, the Royal Crown of Bavaria is set with rubies, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and pearls. The Wittelsbach Diamond was removed and sold in 1931 by the Wittelsbach family.
Like other royal insignia, the crown was not worn by the sovereign. It was placed on a cushion during official ceremonies.Duke of Leuchtenberg
Duke of Leuchtenberg was a title created twice by the monarchs of Bavaria for their relatives. The first creation was awarded by Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria to his son Maximilian Philipp Hieronymus, upon whose death without children the lands passed back to his nephew Elector Maximilian II. It was re-created by Maximilian I Joseph, King of Bavaria on 14 November 1817 and awarded to his son-in-law Eugène de Beauharnais. Eugène was the adopted stepson of the deposed Emperor Napoleon I of France, and Eugène had been his heir in Frankfurt and briefly in Italy. King Maximilian Joseph compensated his son-in-law after he lost his other titles and named him heir to the kingdom after the male-line descendants of the royal house and next in precedence after the Royal Family.
The companion title, also in the Bavarian peerage, was Prince of Eichstätt, which was resigned by the 4th Duke to the King of Bavaria in 1855. On 14 July 1839, Emperor Nicholas I of Russia granted the Russian and Finnish style Imperial Highness to the 3rd Duke, Maximilian, who had just married his daughter, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna.
Nicholas, 4th Duke of Leuchtenberg, was named as Duke of Leuchtenberg in the Russian Empire in 1890 by Alexander III of Russia, as they were by then members of the extended Russian Imperial Family. This creation elevated the style from Serene to Imperial Highness, and was to be carried by all male line descendants of Nicholas born of marriages of corresponding rank, of the incumbent Duke from 1852 to 1891. The title was largely ceremonial, with no lands or governance attached; the style and title became "Duke von (or of) Leuchtenberg, de Beauharnais".
Following the death of the 8th Duke in 1974, no remaining heirs of full dynastic status remained; the 8th Duke's parents' marriage was the last equal marriage entered into by a male dynast of the House of Beauharnais. The title is claimed by Nicolas de Leuchtenberg (born 1933), senior heir of the 4th Duke by a morganatic marriage, whose son Nicolas (1868–1928) was titled in 1890 Duke of Leuchtenberg (Russian branch) by edict of Tsar Alexander III of Russia.Eugénie de Beauharnais
Eugénie Hortense Auguste Napoléone, known as Eugénie de Beauharnais, princess of Leuchtenberg (22 December 1808, Milan – 1 September 1847, Freudenstadt) was a Franco-German princess. She was the second daughter of Eugène de Beauharnais and Princess Augusta of Bavaria, and a member of the House of Beauharnais. In 1826 she married Constantine, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen.Grand Duchy of Frankfurt
The Grand Duchy of Frankfurt was a German satellite state of Napoleonic creation. It came into existence in 1810 through the combination of the former territories of the Archbishopric of Mainz along with the Free City of Frankfurt itself.Hôtel Beauharnais
The Hôtel Beauharnais (French: [otɛl boaʁnɛ]) is a historic hôtel particulier, a type of large French townhouse, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It was designed by architect Germain Boffrand. Its construction was completed in 1714. By 1803, the structure was purchased by Eugène de Beauharnais, who had it rebuilt in an Empire style. It has been listed as an official historical monument since July 25, 1951. Today it serves as the official residence of the German Ambassador to France.IV Corps (Grande Armée)
The IV Corps of the Grande Armée was a military unit during the Napoleonic Wars. It consisted several different units and commanders.Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)
The Kingdom of Italy (Italian: Regno d'Italia; French: Royaume d'Italie) was a kingdom in Northern Italy (formerly the Italian Republic) in personal union with France under Napoleon I. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with his defeat and fall. Its governance was conducted by Napoleon and his step-son and viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais.Monza Park
Monza Park (Parco di Monza) is a large walled park in Monza, Lombardy, northern Italy. Extending over an area of 688 hectares (6.88 km2), it is the largest walled park in Europe, and the fourth largest enclosed one after la Mandria of Venaria Reale (Italy), Richmond Park in London (England) and the Phoenix Park in Dublin (Ireland).
The park was commissioned by Napoleon's stepson Eugène de Beauharnais, during the French occupation of northern Italy, as external part of the garden of his royal palace (the Royal Villa of Monza); it was completed in 1808.
The park is crossed in its southern sector by the Lambro river. Some one third of the park is occupied by woods, while the rest is kept as lawn.
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza racetrack has been located inside the park since 1922. Meanwhile, the Golf Club Milano is a golf course that has hosted nine editions of the Italian Open.Nicolas de Leuchtenberg
Nicolas de Leuchtenberg (Nicolas Alexander Fritz; born 12 October 1933, Munich) is a claimant to the Dukedom of Leuchtenberg. He is the son of Nicolas Nicolaïevitch de Leuchtenberg and his wife Élisabeth Müller-Himmler, and is thus a direct descendent of Alexandre de Beauharnais, Joséphine de Beauharnais, and of Eugène de Beauharnais, first Duke of Leuchtenberg.On 24 August 1962, he married Anne Bügge (born 1936), with whom he has two children:
Nicolas Maximilien de Leuchtenberg (1963–2002), died unmarried and without issue
Constantin de Leuchtenberg (born 1965), unmarried and without issuePalais Leuchtenberg
The Palais Leuchtenberg, (known between 1853 and 1933 as the Luitpold Palais or Prinz Luitpold Palais) built in the early 19th century for Eugène de Beauharnais, first Duke of Leuchtenberg, is the largest palace in Munich. Located on the west side of the Odeonsplatz (Odeon Square), where it forms an ensemble with the Odeon, it currently houses the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance. It was once home to the Leuchtenberg Gallery on the first floor.Principality of Eichstätt
The Principality of Eichstätt was a mediatised principality within the Kingdom of Bavaria that existed between 1817 and 1833 and encompassed an area around Eichstätt with about 24.000 residents. Proprietors of the principality were the Dukes of Leuchtenberg. In 1833 Bavaria rebought the principality and in 1855 finally for three million Gulden the remaining possessions of the Leuchtenberg heirs.
Eugène de Beauharnais (1781–1824), 1817 Bavarian Duke of Leuchtenberg.
Auguste de Beauharnais (1810–1835), 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg since 1824, son of the former.