family doria doge
FIESCO [DE' FIESCIII], GIOVANNI LUIGI (about 1523– 1547), count of Lavagna, Genoese conspirator, was descended from a great historical family which counted among its members Popes Innocent IV. and Adrian V. He was born about 1523, and by the death of his father he became at the age of twenty-three the head of his race and the possessor of considerable estates. He had allied himself by marriage with the ancient family of Cibo, - his wife Eleanora, then about twenty years of age, being a woman of high spirit, great beauty, and remarkable attainments. To the advantages of youth and wealth Fiesco added those of a fine figure, a handsome countenance, and fascinating manners. He was ambitious of power and high place, and inherited from his ancestors a strong passion of jealousy and hatred against the Doria family, the head of which, Andrea Doria, was then doge of the republic, while his nephew, the young Gianettino Doria, was commander of the galleys. With personal and family hostility was combineJ the political enmity between the imperial and French (aristocratic and popular) parties, - the Dorias belonging to the former and being warmly supported by the nobles, while the Fieschi were of the latter and leaned upon the popular class. Bent on the overthrow of the doge and his family, Giovanni Luigi made an attempt to secure the support of Francis I. in his enterprise, but in this he did not at first succeed. The negotiations were afterwards renewed through William du Be]lay, then French ambassador in Italy, and an understanding was come to that the object of the proposed revolution should be to subject the republic to the king of France. The sanction of the pope, Paul nr. was obtained, and the alliance of the duke of Parma and Placentia secured. Associated with Giovanni Luigi in the conspiracy were his brothers Gerouimo and Ottobuoni, and his trusted friends Vincenzo Caleagno, De Varese, and Raffaello Sacco. Troops were levied in the duchy of Parma, and report of these suspicious preparations was sent to Andrea Doria to put him on his guard. But his regard for the young count forbade him to entertain suspicion, and no precautions were taken. When all was ready, Fiesco invited the Dorias to a banquet at his palace on the first day of January 1547, purposing to assassinate them on their arrival. But the doge declined the invitation, his nephew Gianettino had to leave Genoa for sonic weeks, and the scheme thus foundered. The next night, however, taking advantage of the unsettled state of the city at the period of re-election of the doge, Fiesco led out his band (having first by display of affectionate attention to Doria thrown him off his guard), seized the arsenal, and attacked the galleys. While passing along a plank from the quay to one of the galleys the leader fell into the sea and was drowned, the darkness and the confusion preventing his cries for help being heard. The other conspirators proceeded with their task, and Gianettino was slain. The doge succeeded in making his escape, and after the dispersion of the troops and the flight of the leaders, he returned to Genoa, and was welcomed with extraordinary honours. Eleanora, wife of Fiesco, escaped to Massa, married again, survived her second husband many years, and died at Florence in 1594. The story of this conspiracy has frequently been told both by historians and by poets. Amongst the prose narratives that of Mascardi (Antwerp, 1629) is commended for accuracy of detail, but is wanting in impartiality. Amongst the poems the most noteworthy is the tragedy of Schiller.