Ottaviano Fabrizio Mossotti was born on 18 April 1791 in Carpignano Sesia from Giovanni Mossotti, an engineer, and Rosa Gola. He was the oldest of ten children, but both his parents and eight brothers died when he was still quite young. His only surviving brother was Antonino, who became a lawyer and presumably spent all his life in Carpignano, living in the paternal house.
Carpignano Sesia is a small town situated about ten miles north west of Novara, which at the time belonged to the Kingdom of Sardinia. This originally included Piedmont (with the province of Savoy) and Sardinia. After the Vienna Council in 1815 Genoa and the whole of Liguria were annexed to the kingdom. The reinforcement of the Kingdom of Sardinia, in the eyes of England and Russia, had the double purpose of serving to controlling France and of making Austria refrain from unlimited expansion.
Figure 2: Italy before unification.