- Odoardo Farnese
Odoardo Cardinal Farnese."Odoardo Farnese ( April 28, 1612- September 11, 1646) was Duke of Parma and Piacenzafrom 1622 to 1646.
Odoardo was the sole legitimate son of Ranuccio I Farnese and
Margherita Aldobrandini. After Ranuccio's natural son and his potential rival, Ottavio, was relegated in a prison, he reigned initially under the regency of his uncle Odoardo Cardinal Farneseand, after the latter's death, of his mother, Margherita Aldobrandini.
He came of age in 1628 and in the same year he married Margherita de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo II de' Medici's daughter. His first notable act as Duke was an alliance with
Francein 1633, a move designed to counter Spanish predominance in northern Italy and support his territorial ambitions. He also asked for loans to improve the army, but his first campaigns were ineffective: Piacenzawas occupied by the Spanish troops, and his army was defeated by Francesco I d'Este. Spanish troops overran the duchy and devastated the countryside, but did not attempt to lay siege to the cities. In the absence of French assistance, Odoardo was convinced by Pope Urban VIIIto sign a treaty of peace with Spain in 1637.
His aggressive rule of Castro, a Farnese
fiefin the Papal Statesnorth of Rome, who the Barberini (Pope Urban's family) were eager to acquire, caused Odoardo to be excommunicated in 1641.cite book | last = Williams | first = George L. | title = Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Pope | publisher = McFarland | date = 2004 | pages = 106 | url = http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-mq7ctwMNdoC&pg=PA106&dq=%22Odoardo+Farnese%22+excommunicated&lr=&as_brr=3&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U0iyVF4CSnjHshiJ_do6d_B53-Obg#PPA106,M1 | isbn = 0786420715] Instead of reconciliation, he sought alliances with Venice, Florenceand the Duchy of Modena, and invaded northern Laziowith 7,000 troops. His army was comprised mostly of cavalry, and were unable to recover Castro by siege. Although the Farnese fleet was destroyed and the Duke often proved recalcitrant, in the peace of 1644, the city of Castro was returned to him and Odoardo was reconciled with the Roman Catholic Churchand readmitted to the Sacraments.
Odoardo died suddenly in
Piacenza, his favorite residence, on September 11, 1646.
Marriage and children
Odoardo Farnese married Margherita de Medici (
May 31, 1612- February 6, 1679) on October 11, 1628. They had the following sons:
Ranuccio II Farnese(1630-1694)
*Alessandro Farnese (
January 10, 1635- February 18, 1689), Governor of the Habsburg Netherlandsfrom 1678 to 1682
*Orazio Farnese (
January 24, 1636- November 2, 1656)
*Pietro Farnese (
April 4, 1639- March 4, 1677)
*First War of Castro
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