Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing one of the most famous members of the Savoy dynasty – Count Thomas I, who had a considerable impact on the stability and influence of his States. Not just the father that Savoy wanted and needed… but so much more, as you are about to find out.
Written by Samuel Metzener / Translation by Amy Reid
1196 Marriage with Marguerite de Genève
1203 Birth of Pierre II de Savoie
Thomas I, thank you for coming all the way to Chillon to see the exhibition dedicated to your son, Peter II of Savoy.
(Embarrassed silence) …Who?
Your son. Peter II, Count of Savoy
Ah, Peter! He wasn’t exactly my second child, you know. My family was enormous under my reign. My wife, Margaret of Geneva, and I did some great work. We had ten little monkeys, eight of which were boys. Peter was the seventh. It gave us some peace of mind for the future, but it wasn’t always easy to remember who’s who at the dinner table.
Now that that’s cleared up, let’s come back to Peter…
And what about me?
It’s just that the exhibition here at Chillon Castle is about him…
The nerve! I’m the one who gave this old pile of pebbles some semblance of a castle. The exhibition should have been about me! I would like to speak to your overlord!
We have a director here. And that was simply not the brief she and the Chillon Castle Foundation put to Leah Linh.
And who is she?
A contemporary artist, who has reimagined your son’s reign and his image, from his childhood to his death.
Whatever for? As the youngest son, Peter was destined to join the Church and help boost our House’s standing. Not to reign. He was not capable.
You know, once he became a count, he actually did a pretty good job. For example, he had his niece marry King Henry III of England. That brought him plenty of cash, meaning he could purchase or negotiate many territories.
Not bad. And what became of the Pays de Vaud? Did he manage to do something with the ol’ Vaudois people?