Murat (1767-1815) French soldier and King of Naples, was born into
the family of an innkeeper. During the French Revolution he entered the
army, and soon became a colonel. He served under Napoleon in Italy and
in Egypt, rose to be a general of division (1799), returned with Napoleon
to France, and on 18th Brumaire (9 November 1799) dispersed the Council
of Five Hundred at St. Cloud. Napoleon gave him his sister, Caroline, in
marriage. In command of the cavalry at Marengo Murat covered himself with
glory, and in 1801 was nominated Governor of the Cisalpine Republic. He
contributed to the victories of Austerlitz (1805), Jena and Eylau; in 1806
he was made the Grand Duke of Berg, and in 1808 he was proclaimed King
of two Sicilies as Joachim Napoleon. He took possession of Naples, though
the Bourbons, supported by Britain, retained Sicily, and won the hearts
of the subjects.
In the Russian expedition he commanded the cavalry, and indeed, the army after Napoleon left it. He crushed the Austrians at Dresden (1813), fought at Leipzig, and concluded a treaty with Austria and truce with the British admiral; but on Napoleonís escape from Elba, he commenced war against Austria and was twice defeated. With a few horsemen he fled to Naples, and thence to France. After Napoleonís final overthrow, he proceeded with a few followers to the coast of Calabria, and proclaimed himself king; but was taken, court-martialed and shot.
See: Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson. Portrait of Joahim Murat.
Murat, née Caroline (called Marie-Annonciade) Bonaparte (1782-1839),
sister of Napoleon, Princess of France (1804)
Queen of Naples. She married Joachim Murat (1767-1815) and had 4 children
by him: Prince Achille Murat, Princess Letizia Murat, Prince
Napoléon Lucien Murat (1803-78), Princess Louise Murat.
See: François-Pascal-Simon Gérard. Caroline Murat and Her Children.
Napoleon's Family. by Desmond Seward Publisher: Viking Press. 1986.
Joachim et Caroline Murat. by Michel Lacour-Gayet Publisher: Perrin.
Murat: cavalier, marchal de France, prince et roi. by Marcel Dupont. Publisher: Copernic
My brother Napoleon: the confessions of Caroline Bonaparte by Frank Wilson Kenyon. Hutchinson.
Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd. 1996.