For those of you without a working knowledge of 18th century Italian minor principalities, the Principality of Piombino is depicted in red on this map, split between the mainland territory (Piombino proper) and most of Elba. This was a fairly undeveloped area but the rich iron mines of Elba raked in a lot of cash, accounting for 90% of the principality's revenue. The Boncompagni-Ludovisi, however, did not actually reside in the principality - the seat of the family was actually in the Duchy of Sora (and Arce), which is also depicted on this map between the Papal States and Naples. After Gaetano abandoned the Neapolitan court, his family generally split its time between their lavish Roman palaces and Isola di Liri (their main residence in Sora), and rarely visited Piombino (if ever). The variety of lesser fiefs they controlled are not pictured; these were mostly within the Kingdom of Naples but also included the Marquisate of Vignola within the territory of Modena.
My understanding is that they were technically vassals in Piombino too.So, if I get this right, the Boncompagni-Ludovisi family formally hold the Principality of Piombino in their own right, but the majority of their land and wealth is held as vassals of various states, mostly Naples; including the primary family seat in the Duchy of Sora which is a Neapolitan vassal which is used to great autonmy?
My understanding is that they were technically vassals in Piombino too.
(Also, I was under the impression that Sora was a Papal vassal, but this may have to do with later borders).
According to Italian Wikipedia, Piombino became a vassal of Naples of sorts when the Dukes of Sora inherited the place, which had previously been an Imperial vassal anyway.They had nominal sovereignty, but that sovereignty frequently had to contend with the fact that Tuscany or any power that held Tuscany could invade them on a whim, and probably finish them off in a week.
As for Sora, it ping-ponged between Naples and being a Papal fief over the years.
According to Italian Wikipedia, Piombino became a vassal of Naples of sorts when the Dukes of Sora inherited the place, which had previously been an Imperial vassal anyway.
With the heir to Corsica marrying into the Piombino family, is it now more possible that the Kingdom of Corsica acquires Elba at some point in the future?
I'm hoping for Montecristo, with family of Theodore's old servant Montecristo being ennobled as its count. A shame it is Tuscan.
Yeah, when I looked up the islets in the area on Wikipedia to see if they have any population, it said that Montecristo at that time was under the Stato dei Presidi... It is not surprising that an island as insignificant as it had disputed ownership, but it is kind of frustrating, too.It's possible, because Piombino did have female inheritance (that's how it went from Appiani to Ludovisi to Boncompagni-Ludovisi). Such an inheritance would require Prince Antonio to die without male issue, in which case the principality would fall to Laura Flaminia as his eldest daughter, and thence to her children with Theo (presuming they exist). That didn't happen historically - the male line from Antonio continues to this day - but it certainly could happen ITTL with the proper luck.
Such an inheritance might put Corsica in a very awkward position with Naples. In theory the Neuhoffs would hold these lands as Neapolitan vassals, but it's a lot harder to assert control over your vassals when they are also foreign kings (just ask the medieval Kings of France about that).
I know it says that on the map I posted, but sources definitely differ on this issue. I have seen 18th century Montecristo described as Piombinesi, Tuscan, and Neapolitan (part of the Stato dei Presidi) in various sources and maps. My sense is that, like the Maddalenas, Montecristo was something of a sovereignty grey area. The island is uninhabited and rather worthless, so the question of who actually owns it is not very acute.
“The army is the only means by which an imperial prince can receive a measure of due respect during these already difficult times. It is also the only sovereign right and prerogative, the exercise of which distinguishes such a personage from other lesser estates.”
- From the minutes of the Privy Council of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1711