Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Carbonari, the Italian word for colliers or charcoal-burners, was the name given to a secret society which existed in Italy and France in the early part of the present century. It was first formed in the fastnesses of the Abruzzi, and gave much trouble to Murat, whom its members hated almost as much as they did Ferdinand. They took their principles and ritual partly from freemasonry and partly from Christianity, and gave to their meetings the names of baracca (hut), vendita (sale), and alta vendita (big sale), in ascending order of importance. In 1820 their numbers are said to have mounted to several hundred thousands, Charles Albert of Sardinia, Lord Byron, Silvio Pellico, and Mazzini being among their number, but their power was broken by Austria, and in 1831 they were absorbed by Mazzini and the "Young Italy" movement. The establishment in France was organised in 1820, Lafayette being the moving power, the members calling themselves bons cousins, and speaking of outsiders as pagani. Their meetings were ventes particulieres, ventes centrales, hautes ventes and rentes supremes. They were careful to possess no documents. After an unsuccessful rising in 1821, they took part in the revolution of 1830, and by 1848 they had almost ceased to exist.