Giacomo Durando - Encyclopedia

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GIACOMO DURANDO (1807-1894), Italian general and statesman, was born at Mondovi in Piedmont. He was implicated in the revolutionary movements of 1831 and 1832, after which he was obliged to take refuge abroad. He served in the Belgian army, taking part in the war of 1832, and fought in Portugal in 1833. The following year he entered the service of Spain, when he fought in various campaigns, and was promoted colonel in 1838. After a short stay in France he returned to Italy and identified himself with the Liberal movement; he became an active journalist, and founded a newspaper called L' Opinione in 1847. In 1848 he was one of those who asked King Charles Albert for the constitution. On the outbreak of the war with Austria he took command of the Lombard volunteers as major-general, and in the campaign of 1849 he was aide-decamp to the king. He was elected member of the first Piedmontese parliament and was a strenuous supporter of Cavour; during the Crimean campaign he took General La Marmora's place as war minister. In 1855 he was nominated senator, lieutenant-general in 1856, ambassador at Constantinople in 1859, and minister for foreign affairs in the Rattazzi cabinet two years later. He was president of the senate from 1884 to 1887, after which year he retired from the army. He died in 1894.

His brother, Giovanni Durando (1804-1869), was in early life driven into exile on account of his Liberal opinions. He served in the armies of Belgium, Portugal and Spain, distinguishing himself in many engagements. Returning to Italy on the outbreak of the revolution of 1848, he was appointed commander of a division of the pontifical forces, and fought against the Austrians in Venetia until the fall of Vicenza, when he returned to Piedmont as major-general. In the campaign of 1849 he commanded the first Piedmontese division; he subsequently served in the Crimea, in the war of 1859, and in that of 1866 as commander of the I. Army Corps. In 1867 he was appointed president of the supreme military and naval tribunal.

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