Francis I of Naples 1777 – 1830
July 28, 2009
Francis I (Francesco Gennaro Giuseppe), 1777 – 1830 was King of the Two Sicilies from 1825 to 1830.
In 1829, Francis I issued a Royal Decree to open a homeopathic clinic and conduct clinical trials into homeopathy, and he had plans to open a homeopathic hospital in Naples, and he introduced homeopathy into the Military Hospital of the Trinity.
In 1828-9 Cosmo Maria De Horatiis conducted clinical trials into homeopathy in Naples, at the Military Hospital of the Trinity, and he published the results of these trials, causing a great sensation in Naples.
Francis I decided to definitivly manage this outcry with a series of clinical trials under his auspices, and Francis I issued a Royal Decree to open a homeopathic clinic and conduct clinical trials into homeopathy.
The articles of this Royal Decree set out conditions for scientific clinical trials which are the precursor to today’s procedures, and they included blind trials, security arrangements to prevent fraud, parameters set for diagnosis and the inclusion of subjects for the trials, accurate record keeping, signed off by appointed staff under clinical conditions.
Cosmo Maria De Horatiis and Francesco Romani were to be the homeopathic practitioners, and allopathic physicians were also appointed as part of these clinical trials (full details of these trials are in the Cosmo Maria De Horatiis biography).
Francis was born in Naples, the son of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria. He was also the nephew of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI the last King and Queen of France before the first French Republic.
In 1796 Francis married his double first cousin Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II. When she died, he married his first cousin María Isabel, daughter of King Charles IV of Spain.
After the Bourbon family fled from Naples to Sicily in 1806, and Lord William Bentinck, the British resident, had established a constitution and deprived Ferdinand of all power, Francis was appointed regent (1812).
On the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte his father returned to Naples and suppressed the Sicilian constitution and autonomy, incorporating his two kingdoms into that of the Two Sicilies (1816); Francis then assumed the revived title of duke of Calabria.
While still heir apparent he professed liberal ideas, and on the outbreak of the revolution of 1820 he accepted the regency apparently in a friendly spirit towards the new constitution. But he was probably more conservatively inclined than that.
Hence, on succeeding to the throne in 1825, he followed more conservative principles as well. He took little part in the government, which he left in the hands of favourites and police officials, and lived with his mistresses, surrounded by soldiers, ever in dread of assassination.
During his reign the only revolutionary movement was the outbreak on the Cilento (1828), repressed by the Marquis Delcarretto, an ex-Liberal. He was, however successful in having the Austrian occupation force withdrawn (1827) therefore relieving a large financial burden on the Treasury. During his reign, the Royal Order of Francis I was founded to reward civil merit.