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Francis V

FRANCIS V. (1819-1875), duke of Modena, son of Francis IV., succeeded his father in 1846. Although less cruel and also less intelligent than his father, he had an equally high opinion of his own authority. His reign began with disturbances at Fivizzano and Pontremoli, which Tuscany surrendered to him according to treaty but against the wishes of the inhabitants (1847), and at Massa and Carrara, where the troops shot down the people. Feeling his position insecure, the duke asked for and obtained an Austrian garrison, but on the outbreak of revolution throughout Italy and at Vienna in 1848, further disorders occurred in the duchy, and on the 20th of March he fled with his family to Mantua. A provisional government was formed, and volunteers were raised who fought with the Piedmontese against Austria. But after the Piedmontese defeat Francis returned to Modena, with Austrian assistance, in August and conferred many appointments on Austrian officers. Like his father, he interfered in the minutest details of administration, and instituted proceedings against all who were suspected of Liberalism. Not content with the severity of his judges, he overrode their sentences in favour of harsher punishments. The disturbances at Carrara were ruthlessly suppressed, and the prisons filled with politicals. In 1859 numbers of young Modenese fled across the frontier to join the Piedmontese army, as war with Austria seemed imminent; and after the Austrian defeat at Magenta the duke left Modena to lead his army in person against the Piedmontese, taking with him the contents of the state treasury and many valuable books, pictures, coins, tapestries and furniture from the palace. The events of 1859-1860 made his return impossible; and after a short spell of provisional government the duchy was united to Italy. He retired to Austria, and died at Munich in November 1875.

Bibliography. - N. Bianchi, I Ducati Estensi (Turin, 1852); Galvani, Memorie di S.A.R. Francesco IV (Modena, 1847); Documenti riguardanti il governo degli Austro-Estensi in Modena (Modena, 1860); C. Tivaroni, L'Italia durante il dominio austriaco, i. 606-653 (Turin, 1892), and L'Italia degli Italiani, i. 114-125 (Turin, 1895); Silingardi, "Ciro Menotti," in the Rivista europea (Florence, 1880); F.A. Gualterio, Gli ultimi rivolgimenti italiani (Florence, 1850); Bayard de Volo, Vita di Francesco V (4 vols., Modena, 1878-1885).

(L. V.*)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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