Anna Canalis di Cumiana

Anna Canalis di Cumiana
Marchioness of Spigno
Countess of San Sebastiano
Spouse(s) Victor Amadeus II, King of Sardinia
Ignazio Francesco Novarina
Issue
Pietro, Marquis of Spigno
Full name
Anna Carlotta Teresa Canalis di Cumiana
Father Francesco Maurizio Canalis
Mother Monica Francesca San Martino d'Agliè
Born 23 April 1680
Palazzo Canalis, Turin
Died 13 April 1769(1769-04-13) (aged 88)
Convent of the Visitation, Pinerolo

Anna Carlotta Teresa Canalis di Cumiana (23 April 1680 – 13 April 1769) was the morganantic spouse of Victor Amadeus II, King of Sardinia. She was created Marchioness of Spigno.

Contents

Lady of the court

Born at the Palazzo Canalis, Turin in 1680, she was a daughter of Francesco Maurizio Canalis, Count of Cumania and his wife Monica Francesca San Martino d'Agliè. Receiving an education as a nun at the Convent of the Visitation in Turin, she was introduced to the ducal court of Savoy in 1695. She was made a lady-in-waiting to Marie Jeanne of Savoy, mother of the ruling Victor Amadeus II. She was styled as Mademoiselle de Cumania.[1]

She was married on 21 April 1703 to Ignazio Francesco Novarina, the Count of San Sebastiano by whom she had seven children. The marriage was organised by Marie Jeanne under whose household she was part of and who had noticed her sons wondering eye looking in the direction of the beautiful and unmarried Anna.[1]

The couple's first child is widely believed to have been fathered by Victor Amadeus but San Sebastiano accepted paternity. Victor Amadeus and Anna were in correspondence and quickly became a confident in place of his adoring wife Anne Marie. Leaving the court in 1723 with her husband who had had a good career, she was quickly left a widow at her husband's death on 25 September 1724. Left with limited means, Victor Amadeus called her back to court where she was made a lady in waiting to Polyxena, Princess of Piedmont, wife of Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Piedmont and heir apparent of Victor Amadeus II. She was later created the Lady of the Bedchamber to Polyxena.

Marriage to King Victor Amadeus

In August 1728 Victor Amadeus's consort Anne Marie d'Orléans died after a series of heart attacks.[2] Two years later he married Anna in a private ceremony on 12 August 1730 in the Royal Chapel in Turin having obtained permission from Pope Clement XII. Still attractive in her forties, Victor Amadeus had long been in love with her and as a wedding gift, created her Marchioness of Spigno. The title was a fiefdom of the Holy Roman Empire which had been acquired through the spoils of the War of the Spanish Succession and the land of Spigno had previously been owned by an illegitimate brother of Victor Amadeus.[3]

The couple made their marriage public on 3 September 1730 much to the dismay of the court. A month later, Victor Amadeus announced his wish to abdicate the throne and did so in a ceremony at the Castle of Rivoli on the day of his marriage. His son succeeded him as Charles Emmanuel III.

Taking the style of King Victor Amadeus, he and Anna moved into the château de Chambéry outside the capital. The couple took a small retinue of servants and Victor Amadeus was kept informed of matters of state. Under the influence of Anna, in 1731 having suffered a stroke, Victor Amadeus decided he wanted to resume his tenure on the throne and informed his son of his decision.[4] Arrested by his son, he was transported to the Castle of Moncalieri and Anna was taken to a house for reformed prostitutes at the Castle of Ceva but was later allowed to return to the Castle of Rivoli where her husband was moved. She was returned to him on 12 April. The stroke seemed to have affected Victor Amadeus in a way which caused him to later turn violent to his wife blaming her for his misfortunes.[5]

Victor Amadeus II, Anna's morganatic husband by Mytens who created her Marchioness of Spigno

King Victor Amadeus died in September 1732 and was imprisoned in the Convent of San Giuseppe di Carignano. She later moved to the Convent of the Visitation in Pinerolo where she died aged 88.[5] Her son, a member of the court later left in disgrace and succeeded to the Marquisate of Spigno.[6] She was buried at Pinerolo in a grave without a headstone.

Issue

  1. Paola Novarina (b.1708)
  2. Paolo Federico Novarina (b.1710)
  3. Carlo Novarina (1711)
  4. Giacinta Novarina (b.1712)
  5. Clara Novarina (b.1714)
  6. Pietro Novarina, Marquis of Spigno (b.1715) married Adeleaide Cisa di Grésy and had issue;
  7. Luigi Novarina (b.1718) married Matilde Scarampi del Camino;
  8. Biagio Novarina (b.1722)

References

  1. ^ a b Vitelleschi Vol II, p 499
  2. ^ Vitelleschi Vol II, p 495
  3. ^ Symcox, p 229
  4. ^ Symcox, p 231
  5. ^ a b Symcox, p 232
  6. ^ Exshaw, p 78

External links

Media related to Anna Canalis di Cumiana at Wikimedia Commons

Sources

  • The Gentleman's and London magazine: or monthly chronologer, 1741-1794, J. Exshaw., 1741
  • Symcox, Geoffrey: Victor Amadeus II: absolutism in the Savoyard State, 1675-1730, University of California Press, 1983, ISBN 9780520049741
  • Vitelleschi, Marchese: The romance of Savoy, Victor Amadeus II. and his Stuart bride Volume II, Harvard College Library, New York, 1905

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