Carlos, Don, Prince Of Bourbon
CARLOS, DON, PRINCE OF BOURBON (Charles Maria de los Dolores Juan Isidore Joseph Francis Quirin Antony Michael Gabriel Raphael) (1848-1909), prince of Bourbon, claimant, as Don Carlos VII., to the throne of Spain, was born at Laibach on the 30th of March 1848, being the eldest surviving son of Don Juan (John) of Bourbon and of the archduchess Maria Beatrix, daughter of Francis IV., duke of Modena. Don Carlos was the grandson of the first pretender, noticed above. He married in February 1867, at Frohsdorf, Princess Marguerite, daughter of the duke of Parma and niece of the comte de Chambord, who was born on the 1st of January 1847, and who bore him a son, Don Jaime, in 1870, and three daughters. Don Carlos boldly asserted his pretensions to the throne of Spain two years after the revolution of 1868 had driven Queen Isabella II. and the other branch of the Bourbons into exile. His manifesto, addressed to his brother Alphonso, namesake of his rival, Alphonso XII., found an echo in the fanatical priesthood and peasantry of many provinces of the Peninsula, but little support among the more enlightened middle classes, especially in the towns. The first rising was started in Catalonia by the brother of the pretender, who himself entered Spain by way of Vera, in the Basque provinces, on the 21st of May 1872. The troops of King Amadeus under General Moriones, a progressist officer, who was one of Spain's ablest and most popular commanders, surprised and very nearly captured the pretender at Oroquista, sending him a fugitive to France in headlong flight with a few followers. For more than a year he loitered about in the French Pyrenees, the guest of old noble houses who showed him much sympathy, while the French authorities winked at the fact that he was fomenting civil war in Spain, where his guerilla bands, many of them led by priests, committed atrocities, burning, pillaging, shooting prisoners of war, and not unfrequently ill-using even foreign residents and destroying their property. When the Federal Republic was proclaimed on the abdication of King Amadeus, the Carlists had overrun Spain to such an extent that they held all the interior of Navarre, the three Basque provinces, and a great part of Catalonia, Lower Aragon, and Valencia, and had made raids into the provinces of Old Castile and Estremadura. Don Carlos re-entered Spain on the 15th of July 1873, just before the Carlists took Estella, in Navarre, which became, with Tolosa and Durango in the Basque provinces, his favourite residence. He displayed very lax morals and an apathy which displeased his staff and partisans. Don Carlos was present at some fights around Estella, and was in the neighbourhood of Bilbao during its famous siege of three months in 1874 until its relief by Marshals Serrano and Concha on the 2nd of May. He was also present at the battle near Estella on the 27th of June 1874, in which Marshal Concha was killed and the liberals were repulsed with loss. Twice he lost golden opportunities of making a rush for the capital - in 1873, during the Federal Republic, and after Concha's death. From the moment that his cousin Alphonso XII. was proclaimed king at Sagunto, at Valencia, in Madrid, and at Logroño, by General Campos, Daban, Jovellar, Primo de Rivera, and Laserna, the star of the pretender was on the wane. Only once, a few weeks after the Alphonsist restoration, the army of Don Carlos checked the Liberal forces in Navarre, and surprised and made prisoners half a brigade, with guns and colours, at Lacar, almost under the eyes of the new king and his headquarters. This was the last Carlist success. The tide of war set in favour of Alphonso XII., whose armies swept the Carlist bands out of central Spain and Catalonia in 1875, while Marshal Quesada, in the upper Ebro valley, Navarre, and Ulava, prepared by a series of successful operations the final advance of 180,000 men, headed by Quesada and the king, which defeated the Carlists at Estella, Peña Plata, and Elgueta, thus forcing Don Carlos with a few thousand faithful Carlists to retreat and surrender to the French frontier authorities in March 1876.
The pretender went to Pau, and there, singularly enough, issued his proclamations bidding temporary adieu to the nation and to his volunteers from the same chateau where Queen Isabella, also a refugee, had issued hers in 1868. From that date Don Carlos became an exile and a wanderer, travelling much in the Old and New World, and raising some scandal by his mode of life. He fixed his residence for a time in England, then in Paris, from which he was expelled at the request of the Madrid government, and next in Austria, before he took up his abode at Viarreggio in Italy. Like all pretenders, he never gave in, and his pretensions, haughtily reasserted, often troubled the courts and countries whose hospitality he enjoyed. His great disappointment was the coldness towards him of Pope Leo XIII., and the favour shown by that pontiff for Alphonso XII. and his godson, Alphonso XIII. Don Carlos had two splendid chances of testing the power of his party in Spain, but failed to profit by them. The first was when he was invited to unfurl his flag on the death of Alphonso XII., when the perplexities and uncertainties of Castilian politics reached a climax during the first year of a long minority under a foreign queen-regent. The second was at the close of the war with the United States and after the loss of the colonies, when the discontent was so widespread that the Carlists were able to assure their prince that many Spaniards looked upon his cause as the one untried solution of the national difficulties. Don Carlos showed his usual lack of decision; he wavered between the advice of those who told him to unfurl his standard with a view to rally all the discontented and disappointed, and of those who recommended him to wait until a great pronunciamiento, chiefly military, should be made in his favour - a day-dream founded upon the coquetting of General Weyler and other officers with the Carlist senators and deputies in Madrid. Afterwards the pretender continued to ask his partisans to go on organizing their forces for action some day, and to push their propaganda and preparations, which was easy enough in view of the indulgence shown them by all the governments of the regency and the open favour exhibited by many of the priesthood, especially in the rural districts, the religious orders, and the Jesuits, swarming all over the kingdom. After the death of his first wife in 1893, Don Carlos married in the following year Princess Marie Bertha of Rohan. He died on the 18th of July 1909. His son by his first wife, Don Jaime, was educated in Austrian and British military schools before he entered the Russian army, in which he became a colonel of dragoons.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)