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Leopold

king, daughter and married

LEOPOLD (1e5-01d) I (GEORGE tux FREDERICK), king of the Belgians: b. Co burg, 16 Dec. 1790, d. 10 Dec. 1865. He was the fourth son of Francis, Duke of Saxe Coburg, and after receiving a careful literary and scientific education and spending some years in foreign travel, he entered the Russian service, in which he rose to the rank of a general and commanded corps at the battles of Liitzen, Bantzen and Leipzig. On the return of Napoleon from Elba he joined the army of the Rhine and with it entered Paris. While in England after the peace of 1815 he married (2 May 1816) Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent and heiress to the throne, and was naturalized by act of Parliament and created Duke of Kendal. The princess died in childbed on 5 Nov. 1817. In February 1830 he was offered the crown of the new kingdom of Greece; was proclaimed; but as conditions he had specified regarding a rectification of frontier and his entire acceptability to the Greek people were not fulfilled, he renounced the sovereignty. On 4 June 1831 he was elected by a national congress king of the Belgians.

Difficulties were encountered for the first eight years of his reign with the king of Holland, out of whose territory Belgium had been carved, and these were settled by the Treaty of Twenty-four Articles in 1839. In August 1832 he married Louise, eldest daughter of Louis Philinne of France (d. 1850). During the revolutionary troubles of 1848 he offered to abdicate if his rule was unacceptable to his sub jects; but all classes rallied round the king. He ruled with great prudence, was one of the wisest monarchs of his time, was frequently called on to arbitrate on international disputes and was called the Nestor of Europe. His daughter, Carlotta, was the wife of Maximilian, emperor of Mexico. He was succeeded by his son, Leopold II. Consult Juste, 'Les Fonda teurs de la Monarchic beige, Leopold, Ier Roi des Belges' (1868), an English translation of which appeared, entitled 'Memoirs of Leopold I' (1868); Taillandier, roi Leopold et la mine Victoria' (1878).