Ferdinand II., king of the Two Sicilies, grandson of the precedimr, born in Palermo, Jan. 12, 1810, died in Naples, May 22, 1859. He succeeded his father Francis I. in 1830, and at once excited the most lively hopes by pardoning several political offenders and introducing economical reforms and liberal measures. Having thus lulled the revolutionary party, he changed his policy, adopting the principles of absolutism; and the history of the kingdom from that time is a history of conspiracies and rebellions, followed by trials, imprisonments, and executions. After many revolts and attempts at revolt in various parts, all Sicily rose in insurrection in January, 1848, and armed bands marched upon Naples to demand a liberal government. A constitution was granted them, modelled after the French charter of 1830; but the double dealing of the court and the impatience of the democrats led to a bloody collision at Naples, May 15, alter which Ferdinand dissolved the chambers, annihilated the constitution, and restored the ancient order of things. Toward the close of the year Pope | Pius IX. took refuge at Gaeta under his pro-; tection, and in 1849 received the assistance of ! Neapolitan troops against the Mazzini government at Rome; for which service he bestowed upon Ferdinand the title of rex piissimus.
The reconquest of Sicily, which had proclaimed its independence, was completed after a protracted struggle. In the contests with the insurgents Ferdinand had ordered the bombardment of his principal cities, and thus obtained the epithet of bombardatore, abbreviated intoBom-ba," by which he has often been designated. The harshest treatment was exercised toward the political prisoners in Naples, who were estimated by Mr. Gladstone in 1851 to number at least 13,000. At the Paris congress of 185G Ferdinand was advised to pursue a milder system of government, and to grant a general amnesty, which he declined to do. On Dec. 8 of that year a private soldier attempted to assassinate him. In 1857 the seizure and confiscation of the Cagliari, a Sardinian merchant steamer in which revolutionists had been conveyed to Naples, led to a diplomatic rupture between Naples and Sardinia, France, and England. A few months before his death he proclaimed an amnesty, but with such limitations that only TO bagnio convicts would profit by it; they were banished for life, and restricted to reside in America.