1837, Lucca (Duchy), Charles Louis of Bourbon-Parma. Silver 2 Lire Coin. R!
Mint year: 1837
State: Lucca (Italian State)
References: KM-43 ($150 in VF). R!
Condition: Scratches in obverse, otherwise about F-VF/VF!
Material: Silver (.666)
Obverse: Bust of Charles Louis of Bourbo-Parma as Duke of Lucca right. Engraver´s signature (LANDI) below.
Legend: CARLO LOD . I . D . S . DUCA DI LUCCA
Reverse: Crowned shield with Bourbon / French Royal arms (three lis), splitting value (2-L). All within wreath. Date (1837) below.
Charles Louis of Bourbon-Parma (Carlo Ludovico di Borbone Parma) (22 December 1799 – 16 April 1883) was King of Etruria (1803–1807), Duke of Lucca (1824–1847), and Duke of Parma (1847–1849).
He was the only son of Louis, Prince of Piacenza, and his wife Infanta Maria Louisa of Spain. Born at the Royal Palace of Madrid at the court of his maternal grandfather King Charles IV of Spain, he spent his first years living at the Spanish court. In 1801, for Treaty of Aranjuez, Charles became Crown Prince of Etruria, a newly created kingdom formed from territories of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Charles moved to Italy with his parents and in 1803, no yet four years old, he succeeded his father as King of Etruria under the name Charles Louis I. His mother Infanta Maria Louisa assumed the regency while Charles Louis minority lasted. In 1807 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the kingdom of Etruria and Charles Louis and his mother looked for refuge in Spain. In May 1808 they were forced to leave Spain by Napoleon who arrested Charles Louis' mother in a convent in Rome. Between 1811 and 1814 Charles Louis was placed under the care of his grandfather the deposed King Charles IV of Spain.
After Napoleon’s fall, in 1817, Infanta Maria Louisa became Duchess of Lucca in her own right and Charles Louis, age sixteen, became hereditary Prince of Lucca. In 1820 he married Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy. They were a mismatch couple and had only one surviving son. At his mother’s death in 1824, Charles Louis became the reigning Duke of Lucca as Charles I. He had little interest in ruling. He left the duchy in the hands of his ministers and spent most of his time traveling around Europe. A liberal movement led him to abdicate Lucca in favor of the Grand Duke of Tuscany in October 1847 in exchange of an economical compensation as he wanted to retire to his private life. Two months later in December 1847, at the death of the former Empress Marie Louise he succeeded her as the reigning Duke of Parma according to what had been stipulated by the congress of Vienna.
His reign in Parma as Duke Charles II was brief. He was ill received by his new subjects and within a few months he was ousted by a revolution. He regained control of Parma under the protection of Austrian troops, but finally abdicated in favor of his son Charles III on March 14, 1849. His son was assassinated in 1854 and his grandson Robert I, the last reigning Duke of Parma, was deposed in 1860. In exile Charles Louis assumed the title of count of Villafranca. He spent the last years of his life mostly in France, dying at Nice on 16 April 1883.