Andrea Doria

Italian condottiero and admiral, 1466-1560

Originally serving France, Doria ended his collaboration with Francis I in 1528 and became the Imperial admiral of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Having obtained the restoration of the Republic of Genoa from the Emperor, he reformed the constitution in an aristocratic sense, most of the nobility being Imperialists, and put an end to the factions which divided the city.. He continued to serve the Habsburgs for the duration of the Italian Wars. Doria commanded several Catholic expeditions against the Ottoman Empire: he captured Koroni, Patras, and Tunis. Doria's last campaign took place in the 1550s, during a war fought to retain Corsica in Genoese hands against a Franco-Ottoman alliance.


Doria, Andrea

genuesischer Condottiere, Admiral und Staatsmann(1468–1560). Letter signed. Genua. 1 S. Folio. Mit papiergedecktem Siegel und Adresse.
$ 5,454 / 5.000 € (26228)

Letter to Ferrante Gonzaga, viceroy of Sicily, in part (translated): “Since, for my own nature, I cannot deny my help to whoever asks for it, I cannot deny it especially to those who are connected to me as relatives, as in the case of Messer Federico Spinola, master of Casale Mosetta in Dartonese. Therefore, I have to do it and am forced to beg Your Excellency to be agreeable, on account of your kindness and recommended by my affection, to order that, regarding taxation, the property of my relative mentioned above may not be aggravated by more taxes than what is sufficient to certify.

If you do this favor, that Your kindness will be pleased to accord to the named Messer Federico, it will be as if you did it to me and he will owe a not small debt.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds, a couple stains at the top, and a circular area of toning from seal affixed to reverse. A half a century after earning his place as Genoa’s finest naval commander, expelling the French from the city and re-establishing the republic under Spanish imperial protection—creating 28 Alberghi (clans) that formed the ruling class, including the Spinolas—87-year-old Andrea Doria returned to the seas in 1553. In response to the French seizure of Corsica, a crucial settlement due to its location on the sea route between Spain and Italy, he led a fleet of 15,000 men in a lengthy fight to reclaim the island. Within two years he had successfully cleared most of the coastal cities, enabling him to return home for good just shy of his 90th birthday. An interesting letter written in his capacity as ‘perpetual censor’ of the city, a role that gave him remarkable influence over the councils of Genoa, securing tax relief for another high-power family member, this is the first Doria we have ever offered..

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