Edgcumbe Staley

Three Murdered Princesses

"Shall I go in, or shall I not?" asked Isabella de' Medici, Duchess of Bracciano, with a catch in her voice.

Donna Lucrezia de' Frescobaldi, her first Lady of Honour, made no reply, but grasped her mistress' arm convulsively. The two women stood pale and trembling at the door of the Duke's bedchamber, in their charming villa of Cerreto Guidi, a few miles out of Florence.

BIANCA CAPPELLO - "La Figlia di Venezia"

PELLEGRINA - "La Bella Bianchina"

True Lovers - and False

"We'll have none of her among our dead!"

These were the brutal words of Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici, at the villa of Poggio a Caiano on the morning of 21st October 1587. They formed the curt reply his Eminence vouchsafed to Bishop Abbioso of Ravenna, "her" confessor.

SFORZA ALMENI

CAMMILLA DE' MARTELLI

Pathetic Victims of Fateful Passion

"Di fare il piacere di Cosimo" - To serve for Cosimo's pleasure! In such words, an immoral father condemned his lovely daughter to feed the unholy lust of the "Tyrant of Florence" - Moloch was never better served.

When Alexandre Dumas wrote his Crimes of the Borgias - and other "Crimes" - he fully intended to compile a companion volume, treating of episodes in the great family of the Medici.

The origin of the Medici family is lost in the mists of the Middle Ages, and, only here and there, can the historian gain glimpses of the lives of early forbears. Still, there is sufficient data, to be had for the digging, upon which to transcribe, inferentially at least, an interesting narrative.

GIULIANO - "Il Pensieroso."

"Signori!" "Signori!"

Such was the stirring cry which resounded through the lofty Council Chamber of the famous Palazzo Vecchio that dull December day in the year 1469.

ALESSANDRO - "Il Negro."

LORENZINO - "Il Terribile."

The First Tyrannicide

"Go at once, ye base-born bastards, or I will be the first to thrust you out - Begone!"

These were the passionate words of the proudest and most ambitious princess that ever bore the great name of Medici - Clarice, daughter of Piero di Lorenzo - "Il Magnifico," and wife of Filippo di Filippo degli Strozzi - "Il Primo Gentiluomo del Secolo."

A Father's Vengeance

"I will have no Cain in my family!" roared out Cosimo de' Medici - " Il Giovane," Duke of Florence, in the forest of Rosignano.

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