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Proc. Andrea Cornaro (B-17)


Born: November 1419, Venice

Died: 13 November 1473, Cyprus

PROC. ANDREA CORNARO and his older brother Cav. Marco Cornaro (B-16), after flirting with disgrace and disaster at the beginning of their careers, engineered one of Venice's greatest triumphs -- the acquisition of the Kingdom of Cyprus.

In 1457, for allegedly buying his election to the Zonta del Pregadi with help of the heads of the Council of 40, Andrea was banished from Venice, first to Candia [Crete], then to Cyprus. Although in the war of succession following the death of King John II Lusignan of Cyprus Andrea at first supported John II's daughter Carlotta, he soon switched his support to John II's illegitimate son James II Lusignan, who ultimately prevailed. Andrea came to great favor as Counsellor to King James II, probably through acting as his banker and opening large credits in his favor, and he was honored by the King with the title of Procurator.

Andrea later developed the idea of arranging a marriage of his niece Caterina Cornaro with the King. He and his brother Marco brought the idea to fruition in 1468. Following the deaths of the King and the infant Prince, Queen Caterina Cornaro (B-31) became sole ruler of Cyprus, though under the heavy influence of Venice. Andrea was killed as a victim of an attempted coup against the Queen by Cypriot nobility under the leadership of the Archbishop of Nicosia. Prior to his initial banishment from Venice, Andrea commissioned Bartolommeo Buon, 1456, to begin construction of Ca' del Duca, but the project was abandoned upon Andrea's banishment.

1997 C. I. Gable