Hello Monaco magazine Spring-Summer 2018 - issue HM03 - Page 113

dynasty C harles I was the eldest son of Rainier I and his first wife, Salvatica del Carretto. Prior to coming to power, the Genoese seized control of the Rock on April 10, 1301 and Charles was forced to flee into exile. After their invasion, the Genoese occupied the Rock for 30 years until Charles attacked to reconquer it. A veteran seafaring adventurer and well established both in the French King’s Court and the Lord of Provence, he swiftly took back the Rock and sent the Genoese fleeing. Having established and fortified his base in Monaco, Charles then chased after Venetian treasure ships off the coast of Syria and Egypt. His raids were so effective that the Venetians complained to Pope Benedict XII. The Pope tried to intervene through King Robert of Naples (a loyal protector of Charles) who was also Lord of Provence. He is documented as admitting Monaco was formally outside the frontiers of his territory. This was an important historical moment as it was the first time, in response to the Pope’s attempted intervention, that Monaco was cited as independent and not under any other state’s jurisdiction. Charles I was an important ally to the French Valois in their continuing fight against the English and King Edward III, known as the Hundred Years War. The Genoese too, ended their preoccupation with the feuding between the Guelfs and Ghibellines after a change in their Doge, and became allied with the Grimaldis. This formed a broader alliance with the French against the English. One of the main successes in their naval alliance was the taking of Portsmouth that had been left unguarded by the English fleet when it was away escorting transport vessels and English troops to Flanders. Charles Grimaldi from Monaco and his new ally, Anthony Doria of Genoa, were then encouraged by the Admiral of the French fleet to attack Southampton, which they did successfully. They made off with a treasure trove of loot before the English could send in reinforcements. They also met up with David Bruce, King Bruce II of Scotland, and escorted him safely to France. This was a golden period in terms of controlling the Channel for the Monegasques and the French, to the point where serious consideration was given to invading England. However, between infighting and lack of support from the Pope © histoiresansgeo.canalblog.com Charles I from his fortress in Monaco expanded his rules to include Menton and Roquebrune no serious steps were taken to follow through and the idea was abandoned. Then the tide turned and the English, under Edward III, took the upper hand against the French. The Genovese alliance fell apart and one faction turned on the French and even tried to set up a French state in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Charles I was occupied first helping the French against the Genoese and then allied with the French to harass the English fishing fleet who in times of war were the source of much manpower to the English naval forces. As could be expected, Charles I was not in good graces with Edward III, as there had been excesses committed in the fighting with the English where ears and fingers were cut from victims and put on display in Calais. At one point when the French fleet looked like it was going to be decimated by the The French forces were decimated and what remained fled, leaving Charles I for dead on the battlefield Hello Monaco Spring–Summer 2018 / 111