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CHARLES XV.—CHARLES THE BOLD

was made one of the eighteen marshals of France, and, from June 1804 to September 1805, acted as governor of the recently-occupied Hanover. During the campaign of 1805, Bernadotte with an army corps from Hanover co-operated in the great movement which resulted in the shutting up of Mack in Ulm. He was rewarded for his services at Austerlitz (December 2, 1805) by the principality of Ponte Corvo (June 5, 1806), but during the campaign against Prussia, the same year, was severely reproached by Napoleon for not participating with his army corps in the battles of Jena and Auerstädt, though close at hand. In 1808, as governor of the Hanse towns, he was to have directed the expedition against Sweden, via the Danish islands, but the plan came to nought because of the want of transports and the defection of the Spanish contingent. In the war against Austria, Bernadotte led the Saxon contingent at the battle of Wagram, on which occasion, on his own initiative he issued an order of the day, attributing the victory principally to the valour of his Saxons, which Napoleon at once disavowed.

Bernadotte, considerably piqued, thereupon returned to Paris, where the council of ministers entrusted him with the defence of the Netherlands against the English. In 1810 he was about to enter upon his new post of governor of Rome when he was, unexpectedly, elected successor to the Swedish throne, partly because a large part of the Swedish army, in view of future complications with Russia, were in favour of electing a soldier, and partly because Bernadotte was very popular in Sweden, owing to the kindness he had shown to the Swedish prisoners during the late war with Denmark. The matter was decided by one of the Swedish couriers, Baron Karl Otto Mörner, who, entirely on his own initiative, offered the succession to the Swedish crown to Bernadotte. Bernadotte communicated Mörner’s offer to Napoleon, who treated the whole affair as an absurdity. Bernadotte thereupon informed Mörner that he would not refuse the honour if he were duly elected. Although the Swedish government, amazed at Mörner’s effrontery, at once placed him under arrest on his return to Sweden, the candidature of Bernadotte gradually gained favour there, and, on the 21st of August 1810, he was elected crown-prince.

On the 2nd of November Bernadotte made his solemn entry into Stockholm, and on the 5th he received the homage of the estates and was adopted by Charles XIII. under the name of Charles John. The new crown-prince was very soon the most popular and the most powerful man in Sweden. The infirmity of the old king and the dissensions in the council of state placed the government, and especially the control of foreign affairs, entirely in his hands. The keynote of his whole policy was the acquisition of Norway, a policy which led him into many tortuous ways (see Sweden: History), and made him a very tricky ally during the struggle with Napoleon in 1813. Great Britain and Prussia very properly insisted that Charles John’s first duty was to them, the former power rigorously protesting against the expenditure of her subsidies on the nefarious Norwegian adventure before the common enemy had been crushed. After the defeats of Lützen and Bautzen, it was the Swedish crown-prince who put fresh heart into the allies; and at the conference of Trachenberg he drew up the general plan for the campaign which began after the expiration of the truce of Pläswitz. Though undoubtedly sparing his Swedes unduly, to the just displeasure of the allies, Charles John, as commander-in-chief of the northern army, successfully defended the approaches to Berlin against Oudinot in August and against Ney in September; but after Leipzig he went his own way, determined at all hazards to cripple Denmark and secure Norway. For the events which led to the union of Norway and Sweden, see Sweden: History and Norway: History. As unional king, Charles XIV. (who succeeded to that title in 1818 on the death of Charles XIII.) was popular in both countries. Though his ultra-conservative views were detested, and as far as possible opposed (especially after 1823), his dynasty was never in serious danger, and Swedes and Norsemen alike were proud of a monarch with a European reputation. It is true that the Riksdag of 1840 meditated compelling him to abdicate, but the storm blew over and his jubilee was celebrated with great enthusiasm in 1843. He died at Stockholm on the 8th of March 1844. His reign was one of uninterrupted peace, and the great material development of the two kingdoms during the first half of the 19th century was largely due to his energy and foresight.

See J. E. Sars, Norges politiske historia (Christiania, 1899); Yngvar Nielsen, Carl Johan som han virkelig var (Christiania, 1897); Johan Almén, Ätten Bernadotte (Stockholm, 1893); C. Schefer, Bernadotte roi (Paris, 1899); G. R. Lagerhjelm, Napoleon och Carl Johan under Kriget i Tyskland, 1813 (Stockholm, 1891).  (R. N. B.) 


CHARLES XV. (1826–1872), king of Sweden and Norway, eldest son of Oscar I., king of Sweden and Norway, and Josephine Beauharnais of Leuchtenberg, was born on the 3rd of May 1826. On the 19th of June 1850 he married Louisa, daughter of Prince Frederick of the Netherlands. He became regent on the 25th of September 1857, and king on the death of his father (8th of July 1859). As crown-prince, Charles’s brusque and downright manners had led many to regard his future accession with some apprehension, yet he proved to be one of the most popular of Scandinavian kings and a constitutional ruler in the best sense of the word. His reign was remarkable for its manifold and far-reaching reforms. Sweden’s existing communal law (1862), ecclesiastical law (1863) and criminal law (1864) were enacted appropriately enough under the direction of a king whose motto was: “Build up the land upon the laws!” Charles XV. also materially assisted De Geer (q.v.) to carry through his memorable reform of the constitution in 1863. Charles was a warm advocate of “Scandinavianism” and the political solidarity of the three northern kingdoms, and his warm friendship for Frederick VII., it is said, led him to give half promises of help to Denmark on the eve of the war of 1864, which, in the circumstances, were perhaps misleading and unjustifiable. In view, however, of the unpreparedness of the Swedish army and the difficulties of the situation, Charles was forced to observe a strict neutrality. He died at Malmö on the 18th of September 1872. Charles XV. was highly gifted in many directions. He attained to some eminence as a painter, and his Digte show him to have been a true poet. He left but one child, a daughter, Louisa Josephina Eugenia, who in 1869 married the crown-prince Frederick of Denmark.

See Cecilia Bååth-Holmberg, Carl XV., som enskild man, konung och konstnär (Stockholm, 1891); Yngvar Nielsen, Det norske og svenske Kongehus fra 1818 (Christiania, 1883).

 (R. N. B.) 


CHARLES (c. 1319–1364), duke of Brittany, known as Charles of Blois and Charles of Châtillon, was the son of Guy of Châtillon, count of Blois (d. 1342), and of Marguerite of Valois, sister of Philip VI. of France. In 1337 he married Jeanne of Penthièvre (d. 1384), daughter of Guy of Brittany, count of Penthièvre (d. 1331), and thus acquired a right to the succession of the duchy of Brittany. On the death of John III., duke of Brittany, in April 1341, his brother John, count of Montfort-l’Amaury, and his niece Jeanne, wife of Charles of Blois, disputed the succession. Charles of Blois, sustained by Philip VI., captured John of Montfort, who was supported by King Edward III. at Nantes, besieged his wife Jeanne of Flanders at Hennebont, and took Quimper and Guérande (1344). But next year his partisans were defeated at Cadoret, and in June 1347 he was himself wounded and taken prisoner at Roche-Derrien. He was not liberated until 1356, when he continued the war against the young John of Montfort, and perished in the battle of Auray, on the 29th of September 1364. Charles bore a high reputation for piety, and was believed to have performed miracles. The Roman Church has canonized him.

See Siméon Luce, Histoire de Bertrand du Gueselin et de son époque (Paris, 1876).

CHARLES, called The Bold (1433–1477), duke of Burgundy, son of Philip the Good of Burgundy and Isabella of Portugal, was born at Dijon on the 10th of November 1433. In his father’s lifetime he bore the title of count of Charolais. He was brought up under the direction of the seigneur d’Auxy, and early showed great application to study and also to warlike exercises. Although he was on familiar terms with the dauphin (afterwards Louis XI.), when the latter was a refugee at the court of Burgundy, he could