Charles_III_of_Naples_as_Charles_II,_King_of_HungaryCharles III of Naples as Charles II, King of Hungary (Source: Wikimedia)

Having overthrown his cousin, Queen Joanna I of Naples, who was soon after murdered, Charles III began his short reign. It is described by Clara Erskine Clement in her 1894 book Naples, the City of Parthenope and its Environs, as follows:

Charles of Durazzo encountered great difficulties in making himself supreme master of his kingdom. The adopted son of Joanna I., Louis of Anjou, besieged Charles III. in that Castel dell’ Ovo where Giotto had painted his frescos, and which Froissart represents as being at this time one of the strongest castles in existence, ” situated as it were by enchantment in the sea, so that it is impossible to take it but by necromancy, or by the help of the devil.” Then, too, the arrogant Urban VI., having for some reason deserted the cause of Charles and espoused that of Louis, established himself with his court and cardinals in the famous castle of Nocera, and claimed to be the superior
of the monarch on whom he had himself bestowed a crown.

Charles besieged the pontiff with a large army; but the Pope, trusting to the strength of his fortress, simply pronounced his curse upon the besiegers several times a day, with bell and candle. He was at length released by Raimondello Orsini and the Genoese, who compelled Charles to raise the siege. While in the castle Urban suspected the fidelity of his cardinals, and after witnessing the most cruel tortures ,of six of their number, he confined them in a cistern so long as he remained there. One of these cardinals was a legate from Richard II. of England, whom Urban pardoned at the intercession of that monarch; but the other five were tied in sacks and thrown into the sea.

Louis of Anjou survived Queen Joanna but a year; and after his death Charles of Durazzo held the throne in security during the short remnant of his life. After the death of his uncle, Louis of Hungary, Charles went to that country to claim the throne in the right of his wife, was declared a conspirator against the widow and daughter of the late king, and in 1386 was murdered, in the midst of their loyal subjects.