Bonaparte Charles, the father.
All the versions of this article: [English] [français]
(Ajaccio, 1744 - Montpellier, 1785)
Charles Bonaparte was an only child. He studied law in Pisa and returned to his native island. In 1767 he married Laetitia Ramolino. She gave him thirteen children. The eight who lived all became prince or princess, queen or king. And emperor.
In 1768 Charles Bonaparte took part beside the Corsican hero Pascal Paoli in the battle against the occupying forces from Genoa. The Corsican patriots were beaten at Ponte Nuovo. Charles attached himself to the brother of Pascal Paoli and followed him on many expeditions without any more success.
Genoa ceded Corsica to France. The civil war ceased. Laetitia gave birth to her second son, whom the Bonapartes named Napoleon in remembrance of an uncle. Charles Bonaparte then undertook a series of projects which would last his whole life. First it was necessary to establish his noble origin more than two centuries earlier, a status which his son would deny during the revolution.
With the support of Count Marbeuf, governor of the island, he became in 1779 the deputy to the king for the Corsican nobility. He continued his solicitations, obtaining three subsidies for his children; one of them sent Napoleon to the school at Brienne. Finally two projects occupied him completely, one concerning an inheritance, the other the drying up of a swamp where he wanted to raise crops.
In 1785, having developed an ulcer in his stomach, he went to Montpellier to consult a doctor. He died in that city on February 24, 1785.
Napoleon later judged that the death of his father had a decisive influence on his life. He did not elaborate.Vie