Historical Library

Marliani Emanuele

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Senator of the Kingdom of Italy in 1862, the charters inventoried provide valuable data for a greater knowledge, not only of his activity as a politician, but also of men and events concerning Spain and Italy.
Emanuele Marliani, who was awarded numerous Iberian and Italian orders of chivalry, took part in the agitated Spanish politics in the first half of the last century and occupied important positions on behalf of that government in London, Paris, Berlin: tasks which he fulfilled excellently, as shown by the congratulatory letters sent to him by the Queen of Spain.
Shortly before returning to Italy, he was appointed Senator of the Balearic Islands. At home it was used by Cavour and Farini in delicate diplomatic missions in London.
Among the papers of private interest, is a file of the case that he disputed against his first wife Charlotte of Folleville, widow of Baron Delaporte, in 1848; accused of having squandered much of the estate for mismanagement.
The Baron Delaporte, her first husband, wealthy owner and well-known banker in Parisian high finance, was the protagonist of a resounding breakdown due precisely to the bad administration of his wife, so much so as to end miserable at all. We don't know what happened to the lawsuit, but the Marliani, more prudent than Delaporte, managed to save what could be saved and, apparently, got a divorce. He married Giulia Mathieu in Florence. The correspondence presents documents of considerable interest: in addition to autographs by Cavour, Cialdini, Farini and other well-known and lesser-known characters of the last century, there are not a few letters from friends and acquaintances of Spain.

A small but juicy archive, where the scholar can find some authentic historical first fruits.



The son of Giuseppe Marliani, from Milan, and the Spanish Francisca de Paula Cassens, Emanuele Marliani, he was born in Cadiz on 13 July 1795. In 1811 he moved to Lombardy; the following year he was promoted to general management.

In the aftermath of the Congress of Vienna, he was joined, probably thanks to family connections, to the mission of the Spanish ambassador E. Bardaxí y Azara to Lucca to take possession of the Duchy, ceded by the agreements of 1815 to Maria Luisa di Borbone. Back in Milan, he resumed work at the Post Office, which he held until May 1821 when, recalled by Bardaxí, he went to Turin and then to Bordeaux. His rapid departure from Lombardy at the time of the Piedmontese constitutional movement, but above all the links with the liberal environment, and in particular with G. Pecchio and G. Berchet, aroused suspicion in the Lombard government, who registered his name among the suspects in the trial who also included G.G. Pallavicino Trivulzio and G. Arconati Visconti.
The commission in charge of conducting the investigation found no particular evidence of his direct involvement in the motion; nevertheless, «if one considers what his political principles were before his departure from Milan», wrote the rapporteur of the report on M. in the arrest order, «if we consider that this took place just before the revolution broke out and at the instigation of Bardaxí, who was one of the main proponents of the same [...], there are also legal clues against him» (Arch. di Stato di Milano, [Arch. Postale, Arch. postale lombardo, cart. 34, n. 354).
The charge, which in 1822 cost him his arrest and conviction for high treason, was to have acted as a liaison between the Piedmontese and Lombard revolutionaries and to have plotted to convince the regent Charles Albert of Savoy to lead the revolution in the neighboring Austrian region. In absentia, the M. decided to return to his homeland, where he followed the fate of the revolutionary government of Cádiz and enlisted in the national militia of Seville. The intervention of the French army, sent to Spain to restore order in the Iberian Peninsula, convinced him to emigrate again, first to Gibraltar, then to London and later to Marseilles, where for a short time he ran a steam mill. His first significant historical works, dedicated to Spanish history, date back to this period, such as L'Espagne et ses révolutions (Paris 1833) and Apuntes al Estatuto rea (1834; cit. in Pascual Sastre, p. 123)in which the M. defends the regime in force in Spain from 1820 to 1823, in an attempt to restore greater credibility in the eyes of those powers that had applauded his fall.

In 1836, following the choice of the regent Maria Cristina of Bourbon Two Sicilies to favor the liberal elements to block the ambitions to the throne of the absolutist Don Carlos, the M. began, with the appointment as consul in Paris, his long diplomatic career in the service of Spain. He remained there until 1838, interrupting from time to time his stay to go to London to promote the concession of a «univalor emprestito» with which Great Britain and France would help to revive the fortunes of the poor Spanish economy. This failed attempt, the M. was forced to abandon his office due to pressure from the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Habsburg Empire, mindful of the role he played during the Piedmontese revolution. In 1838 the M. was removed from Paris and in 1839 he was sent with the former moderate prime minister F. de Zea Bermúdez to the courts of Berlin, London and Vienna to obtain the recognition of Isabella II of Bourbon, supported at home by the liberal party as an alternative to Don Carlos.

In 1840, on his return to a Spain now liberated from the Carlist threat thanks to the victorious campaign of General B. Espartero, M. was appointed consul again in Paris; however a year later (4 Oct. 1841) France's refusal to grant him the exequatur forced him to resign. In Paris, in fact, M. was considered an «enemigo del gobierno francés» because of its relations «with hombres enemigos del gobierno» (Madrid, Archivo del Ministerio de Asuntos exteriores y de Cooperación, P.161, n. 08258: letter from J. Hernández to J.M. Ferrer dated 19 Dec. 1840); nor did he benefit from the help of Bardaxí and the joint help of George Sand and F. Chopin, who were linked to the Marliani family by a solid friendship and were outraged at the behaviour of the French government towards a representative of European progressivism (Sand, IV, p. 495). The years of the regency of Espartero (1840-43), determined by the voluntary exile of Maria Cristina, saw M. deeply involved in Spanish domestic affairs, so much so that in 1842 he was also appointed senator. So, when in 1843 the pronouncement of R.M. Narváez marked the momentary decline of Espartero, he decided to follow him into London exile.
He returned to Madrid in 1849; two years later, however, he left Spain for the Papal States where, in 1855, he was appointed director of the Spanish college of St. Clement of Bologna. His projects, aimed at transforming the college into a modern academy of sciences and fine arts, were frustrated by the request of the members of the institute to remove it under the pretext that it was «demasiado joven, y que como tal carece de tacto y de experiencia» (Madrid, Archivo del Ministerio de Asuntos exteriores y de Cooperación, P.161, n. 08258: letter of 13 Apr. 1855 of M. de Parada, provisional appointee of the college). The drawbacks of the collegial were due, in fact, to the fear that his appointment favored the policy of expropriation of ecclesiastical property, measure that the M. had declared to approve, in favor of the Spanish State. Following these complaints, and despite his repeated denials, in 1857 the Madrid government decided to remove him from office.
The past diplomatic experience and the relations he had in the years he spent in Bologna with some members of the Italian moderatism allowed him, in 1859, to join the provisional government of the Romagne as a deputy of the college of Budrio. In this capacity he was first sent to Tuscany to promote the preventive fusion of the States of central Italy and their subsequent unification to the Kingdom of Sardinia (solution then abandoned for fear that it would slow down the unitary hypothesis and open the way to the realization of the French project of a tripartite Italy); then, in April of the same year, in London, to achieve the neutrality of England in the impending conflict between Austria and Piedmont.
Back in Italy, in January 1860 he was again in London with the task, entrusted to him by the governor of the Provinces of Emilia, Luigi Carlo Farini, to stem the indignation caused by the cession of Nice and Savoy to France. Its mission, marked by a solid diplomatic realism, aimed to minimize the emotional reaction of part of Italian public opinion, to present the Italian compromiseas the necessary consequence of the agreement made a year and a half earlier between Napoleon III and Vittorio Emanuele II, by virtue of which the latter now reunited under his crown the states of central and northern Italy. In March of the same year he was recalled to Bologna at the invitation of Farini and C. Benso, Count of Cavour, who urged him to abandon his diplomatic career «et de diplomate devenir législateur» (Cavour and England, p. 52) entering the next Italian Parliament. Elected deputy in Budrio in 1861, on 11th December 1862 he was appointed senator and charged with conducting some economic and financial investigations, such as, for example, the one commissioned by the Minister of Finance M. Minghetti in 1863 on the opportunity to replenish the coffers of the State through the extinction of the assets of the (On the disammortification of the assets of the manimorte in Spain, a letter addressed to the Minister of Finance Marco Minghetti, Turin 1863). His political activity was also distinguished by the commitment to stem the extreme wings of Parliament and leave the government free hand in the organization of the newly unified state.
Repudiated the youthful democratic enthusiasm in the name of a more mature pragmatism, the M. declared himself in favour of a «strong government» - led by «armed generals» - that would curb «parliamentary anarchy» due to the presence of politicians who «neither respect nor respect» (Arch. di Stato di Biella, Fondo Alfonso Ferrero della Marmora, m. XCV, f. 507, n. 3687: letter dated 8th July 1862 to A. Ferrero della Marmora). The same G. Garibaldi, that a few years before the M. judged «the events, the apôtre, the symbole» of the Risorgimento process (in E. Marliani, L'unité nationale de l'Italie, Turin 1860, p. 18), appeared to him now endowed with «demonic pride, [...] of boundless ambition», moved, «under that praised disinterested, [from the] thirst for power» (Bologna, Arch. del Museo civico del Risorgimento, [Arch. Locations: Marliani Emanuele, series D: letter to Laura Bignami, July 1862). It was not only the Democrats who aroused his disapproval, but also the reactionaries, defenders of the temporal power of the pontiff against whom the M. had repeatedly pronounced itself in the Senate. In line with this lively anticlerical spirit (famous his speech in the Upper Chamber in favor of a law of garrisons that affected more deeply the ecclesiastical interests), M. joined in 1869 the anti-cncilio of Naples, a meeting of free thinkers, atheists and freemasons, conceived as a lay counterpart to the Vatican Council, convened in Rome by Pius IX that same year. In addition to his political career, M. continued to work on the history of Italy and Spain, so much so that he could be considered «the first Italian historian of Spanish things after 1860» (Mugnaini, p. 22).
In 1868, at the time of the revolution that led to the fall of the Bourbon monarchy in Spain, M. recovered a plan he had conceived as early as 1854 (at the time of Espartero's brief return to power during the Spanish «progressive biennium») for the replacement of the Bourbon dynasty with that of the Savoys and for the reunification of the Iberian Peninsula through the fusion of Portugal with Spain (E. Marliani, 1854 et 1869. Un changement de dynastie en Espagne..., Florence 1869). This project was partially realized with the short reign of Amadeus (Amadeus in Spain) of Savoy (while M. had proposed to entrust the crown to Thomas of Savoy, son of the Duke of Genoa and grandson of Victor Emmanuel II), which he ended, in February 1873, the proclamation of the Republic.

The Marliani died in Florence on 15th January. 1873, six months before the Spanish Cortes decreed the failure of its plan of expansion of the Savoy dynasty in the Mediterranean.

Other writings

Other writings of Marliani: Aclaraciónes sobre mi misión a las Cortes de Berlín y Viena en principio de este año, Madrid 1839; De la Influencia del sistema prohibitivo en la agricultura, industria, comercio y Rentas públicas, ibid. 1842: Discourse on the treaty of cession of Savoy and Nice, Bologna 1860; Some observations on the brochure «France, Rome and Italy», Turin 1861: Brief remarks in response to the considerations on the convention of 15th June 1862 for the granting of railways in the southern provinces and in Lombardy, ibid. 1862; The Convention of 15th September, the encyclical and the moral means of conciliation with Rome, ibid. 1865; On the urgency of a law of general disammortization in aid of finances, Pisa 1866; Trafalgar (21st Oct. 1805) and Lissa (20th July 1866), Florence 1867; Spain in 1843 and 1872, in Nuova Antologia, April 1872, pp. 830-844; El Reinado de Fernando VII, Madrid 1986.

Sources and bibliography

Rome, Arch. central State, Real Casa, Civil House of S.M. il re e ministero della Real Casa, Private Cabinet of Vittorio Emanuele II, b. 67, f. 1625 (1869); Ibid., Museo centrale del Risorgimento, bb. 563, n. 19 (1); 145, n. 5 (5) and n. 6 (7); 153, nn. 14 (2) and (9); 158, n. 24 (13 and 45a); 111, n. 16 (3); 627, n. 17 (3); Bologna, Arch. of the Museo civico del Risorgimento, Arch. Locations: Marliani Emanuele, serie D; Arch. State of Biella, Fondo Alfonso Ferrero della Marmora, m. XCV, f. 507 (3684-8); Arch. di Stato di Milano, Arch. Postale, Arch. postal Lombard, cartt. 229, n. 9845; 230, n. 446; Processi politici (1821-22), cartt. 33, nn. 304, 309, 321, 327, 334, 339, 341, 373; 34, nn. 351, 354-355, 359, 416 (1-2); 35, No. 466 (1-8); Arch. segr. Vatican, Secretariat of State, Epoca moderna, rubrica 165, a. 1859, b. 219, f. 12; Madrid, Archivo del Ministerio de Asuntos exteriores y de Cooperación, Personalidades, Manuel Marliani, P.161, n. 08258; P.154, n. 08036; Reconocimiento de Isabel II (1837-1848), H.2837, aa. 1834-40; Correspondencia del consulado de Paris, H.2007, aa. 1834-70 (1836-38);Acts of the Italian Parliament, 8th Legislature, Session of 1861 (from 18th February to 23rd July), Turin 1861, pp. 289-294; Rendiconti del Parlamento italiano,VIII legislatura, Discussioni del Senato del Regno, Sessione of 1861-62, III, Florence 1870, pp. 2177, 2264 ff., 2287; Session of 1863-64, II, Rome 1872, pp. 510-514; III, ibid. 1873, pp. 1950 s., 2304 ff.; IV, ibid. 1874, pp. 2859-2867;XI legislature, Session of 1870-71, vol. unico, ibid. 1871, pp. 763-766; N. Bianchi, Storia documentata della diplomazia europea in Italia (1814-61), VII, Torino-Napoli 1870, pp. 183, 592; VIII, Torino-Napoli 1872, pp. 151-153; G. Ricciardi, L'anticoncilio di Napoli 1869, Napoli 1870, p. 278; Lettere ad Antonio Panizzi, edited by L. Fagan, Florence 1880, ad ind. M. Minghetti, I miei ricordi, III (1850-59), Rome-Turin-Naples 1890, ad ind. ; G. Sforza, Una missione di M. a Londra, in Il Risorgimento italiano, I (1908), 1, pp. 104-109; Biblioteca di storia italiana recente (1800-1870), IV, Torino 1915, pp. 50-53; J. Bécker, Historia de las relaciónes exteriores de España durante el siglo XIX, I (1800-1839), Madrid 1924, pp. 758, 761-764; Il carteggio Cavour-Nigra from 1858 to 1861, III, Bologna 1928, pp. 18 s., 67; Cavour and England, II (1856-61), Bologna 1933 ad ind. ; Epistolario di Luigi Carlo Farini, edited by L. Rava, IV 1852-59), Bologna 1935, pp. 851-853; I documenti diplomatici italiani, serie 1ª(1861-70), I, II, IV, X, Roma 1952-88, ad indices; Le relazioni diplomatiche fra la Gran Bretagna e il Regno di Sardegna, serie 3ª (1848-1860)VII, edited by G. Giarrizzo, Rome 1962, ind. ; G. Sand, Correspondance, edited by G. Lubin, III (juillet 1835 - avril 1837), Paris 1967, ad ind. IV (mai 1837 - mars 1840), ibid. 1968, ad ind. ; E. Poggi, Memorie storiche del governo della Toscana nel 1859-60 (1867), Roma 1976, I, pp. 199-201, 274 ff.; II, p. 17; III, pp. 206-208, 220-222; M. Mugnaini, Un esempio di circolazione delle élites: Italia e Spagna dal 1808 al 1860, in Españoles e Italianos en el mundo contemporáneo, edited by F. García Sanz, Madrid 1990, pp. 22-24; C. Venza, Zia diplomas, re Amedeo, movimento operaio: Spain from 1860 to 1898 seen by Italian historians, ibid. , p. 106; Epistolario di Camillo Cavour, edited by C. Pischedda - R. Roccia, XVI, 2-3, Firenze 2000, ad ind. ; I.M. Pascual Sastre, La Italia del «Risorgimento» y la España del sexenio democrático, Madrid 2001, ad ind. ; A. Calani, Il Parlamento del Regno d'Italia, III, Milano 1860, ad nomen; T. Sarti, Il Parlamento subalpino e nazionale, Terni 1890, ad nomen; Diz. of the National Risorgimento, III s.v.(G. Maioli); Enc. biographical and bibliogr. «Italiana», A. Malatesta, Ministri, deputati, senatori dal 1848 al 1922, II, p. 160.F. Di Giuseppe.