The Lordship of Piombino (Signoria di Piombino), and after 1594 the Principality of Piombino (Principato di Piombino), was a small state on the Italian peninsula centred on the town of Piombino and including part of the island of Elba. A vassal of the Kingdom of Naples associated to the State of the Presidios and a territory of the Holy Roman Empire formed from the remnants of the Republic of Pisa, it existed from 1399 to 1805, when it was merged into the Principality of Lucca and Piombino. In 1815 it was absorbed into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Principality of Piombino
Principato di Piombino
|Official languages||Latin, Italian|
|Gherardo Appiani |
|Antonio II Boncompagni Ludovisi |
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Raised to principality
• Prince deposed by
1799 and 1803
|28 March 1801|
June 23, 1805
Founding and early history of the Lordship of Piombino (1399-1445) Edit
On February 19, 1399 Gherardo Appiani ceded Pisa and the majority of its territories, which his family had owned since 1392, to the Visconti of Milan for 200,000 florins, reserving the commune of Piombino for himself and his successors; moreover he also took possession of Populonia, Suvereto, Scarlino, Buriano, Abbey of San Pancrazio al Fango and the islands of Pianosa, Montecristo, and Elba; forming a newly established state, the Lordship of Piombino.
Gherardo had his residence built in Piombino in the small square (now Piazza Bovio) and on his death, in 1405, he left the state to his son Iacopo II. The latter, born in 1400, for the first years was under the tutelage of his mother, Donna Paola Colonna. During the years of regency and afterwards, the politics of the Appiani family were oriented first towards an alliance (obtaining protection with a deed of pardon) with the Republic of Florence, then that of Siena, and finally again with Florence.
Orsini rule and Appiani restoration (1445 - 1501) Edit
In 1447, Orsini erected a ravelin to better defend Piombino, in anticipation of Emanuele Appiani attempting to re-take the lordship. Allying with Alfonso V, King of Aragon and Naples, Emanuele besieged Piombino in 1448, also obtaining Sienese and Florentine help. After four months of useless attempts the siege was abandoned and Rinaldo Orsini ruled the lordship until his death from the plague in 1450.
After Rinaldo Orsini's wife Caterina Appiani died in 1451, the Council of Elders of Piombino proclaimed the disinherited Emanuele Appiani as lord.
Emanuele was succeeded as Lord of Piombino by Iacopo III, who became a patron of Andrea Guardi, a Florentine architect and sculptor. Between 1465 and 1470 many works were carried out which changed the appearance of the city.
Warfare and contested rule (1501-1594) Edit
Iacopo III was succeeded by his son Iacopo IV who, between 1501 and 1503, lost the lordship to the work of Cesare Borgia, who occupied Piombino. In 1502, Cesare's father Pope Alexander VI visited the city and the territory staying for some days.
With the death of Pope Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia was deprived of the conquered power, and Piombino returned to Iacopo IV: the latter, advised by the Florentines, hosted Niccolò Machiavelli as an adviser, who invited Leonardo da Vinci to study the city defenses.
Iacopo IV was succeeded by Iacopo V, who welcomed famous artists into his court, such as Il Sodoma and Rosso Fiorentino. On his death he was succeeded by Iacopo VI, under the tutelage of his mother Elena Salviati.
In 1548, Iacopo VI was deposed as Lord of Piombino, which was incorporated into the territories of the House of Medici. In 1557 Cosimo I de' Medici, future Grand Duke of Tuscany, gave up Piombino, in exchange for Siena and Portoferraio and Iacopo VI Appiani was restored to the lordship.
Iacopo VI was succeeded by his natural son Alessandro Appiani. Alessandro, a dissolute man, attracted the disapproval of the most influential families of the island, who conspired against him and successfully assassinated him in an ambush in via Malpertugio in 1590. After the death of Alessandro, Spanish military commander Felix d'Aragona was invited to govern Piombino in the name of Alessandro's heir Iacopo VII Appiani.
Elevation to Principality and fall of the Appiani (1594-1634) Edit
In 1594, the Lordship of Piombino was raised to the status of principality by Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II with Iacopo VII becoming the first Prince of Piombino.
The succession to the principality was disputed between relatives of the childless Iacopo VII after his death in 1603, with the sister of Iacopo VII, Isabella Appiani, eventually prevailing. In 1628, Isabella was deposed by a revolt fueled by both Spain and the Medici and Piombino was directly occupied by the Spanish.
Later history Edit
In 1634, despite the protests of the Appiani cadet line, Piombino was assigned to Prince Niccolò Ludovisi, son-in-law of Isabella Appiani: these and his heirs, politically linked to Philip IV of Spain, paid little attention to the principality which, from 1646 to 1650, was even occupied by the French by order of Cardinal Mazarin.
In 1708, due to the extinction of the Ludovisi family, the government of Piombino was assumed by the Boncompagni family: it was the period of the Boncompagni-Ludovisi, who neglected the state, leaving it to be conquered, in the years of the wars of succession, by the French, Spaniards and Neapolitans. The princes, who were also Dukes of Sora and Arce and Grandee of Spain, resided in Rome or in Isola del Liri and rarely visited the principality. After the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, the situation calmed down and the princes, given their remoteness, left the local magistrates, primarily the Council of the Elders, to administer the state in their name.
From 1799 the French invasions resumed (which formed a short republic), but the English and the Neapolitans kept the island of Elba. After the Battle of Marengo and the defeat of the Kingdom of Naples, the Napoleonic troops annexed Piombino to France. At the behest of Napoleon I, on June 23, 1805, the Principality of Lucca and Piombino was created, assigned to his sister Elisa Bonaparte and her husband Felice Pasquale Baciocchi.
List of rulers Edit
- Iacopo I
- Gherardo 1399–1404
- Iacopo II 1404–41
- Paola 1441–45
- Rinaldo 1445–50
- Caterina 1445–51
- Emanuele 1451–57
- Iacopo III 1457–74
- Iacopo IV 1474–1511
- Iacopo V 1511–45
- Iacopo VI 1545–85
- Alessandro 1585–89
- Iacopo VII 1589–1603 (prince under Naples after 1594)
- Rudolf 1603–11
- Isabella 1611–28
- direct Spanish rule 1628–34
- Niccolò I 1634–64
- Giovan Battista 1664–99
- Niccolò II 1699–1700, under the regency of his mother Anna Maria Arduino, died aged one.
- Olimpia 1700
- Ippolita 1701–33, with Gregorio as co-regent (1701–07)
- Eleonora 1734–45
- Gaetano 1745–77
- Antonio 1778–1803, deposed by French troops in 1799 and 1803
- Cappelletti, Licurgo (1897). Storia della Città di Piombino (in Italian). Forni Editore. p. 35.
- Carrara, Mauro. Signori e Principi di Piombino (in Italian). Bandecchi & Vivaldi.
- Il potere e la memoria. Piombino Stato e città nell'età moderna (in Italian). EDIFIR. p. 18. ISBN 8879700243.
- Carrara, Mauro (1996). Signori e Principi di Piombino (in Italian). Bandecchi & Vivaldi. pp. 22–23.
- Cappelletti, Licurgo. Storia della Città di Piombino. Forni Editore. p. 82.
- "BONCOMPAGNI e BONCOMPAGNI-LUDOVISI in "Enciclopedia Italiana"". www.treccani.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-01-14.
- "Piombino ed Elba, principato di in "Dizionario di Storia"". www.treccani.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-01-14.
- Carrara, Mauro. Araldica Piombinese (Tre) (in Italian).
- Abulafia, David (2010). "The Mouse and the Elephant: Relations between the Kings of Naples and the Lordship of Piombino in the Fifteenth Century". In Paton, Bernadette; Law, John Easton (eds.). Communes and Despots in Medieval and Renaissance Italy. Ashgate. pp. 145–60.
- Berte-Langereau, Jack (1955). "L'Espagne et le royaume d'Etrurie". Hispania. 15 (60): 353–460.
- Romero García, Eladi (1986). "El señorío de Piombino: Un ejemplo de influencia institucional hispánica en la Italia del siglo XVI". Hispania. 46 (164): 503–18.