Ruffo, Fabrizio fäbrē´tsēō ro͞of´fō [key], 1744–1827, Neapolitan general, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. In the French Revolutionary Wars he led the royal Neapolitan army against the Parthenopean Republic, set up at Naples under French protection. Possibly exceeding his authority, he promised the republicans full immunity from reprisals and obtained their surrender in June, 1799. Even before Naples capitulated, Admiral Horatio Nelson appeared with his fleet, called the cardinal to task for his leniency, and revoked the terms of surrender. The rebels, who had been only vaguely informed of the change, surrendered nevertheless. Their leader, Caracciolo, was executed on Nelson's flagship, and a general massacre of the rebels followed.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian History: Biographies