GUIDO ASCANIO CARDINAL SFORZA (1518-1564) was the son of Bosio Sforza, Conte di Santa Fiora e Cotignola, and Costanza Farnese, the legitimized daughter of Alessandro Farnese (Pope Paul III). He became Cardinal at the age of sixteen on December 18, 1534, in his grandfather's first Consistory. He was named Bishop of Parma (1535-1560), and became Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church in 1537 at the age of 19. It was a post he held until his death on October 6, 1564. He served as Legate of Bologna and the Romagna ( from 1537), and was Papal Legate in Hungary in 1540. He presided over the Interregnum of 1549-50, the two interregna of 1555, and that of 1559.
The Dean of the Sacred College was Giovanni Domenico Cardinal de Cupis (1493-1553) He was the son of Pope Julius II's former mistress, Lucrezia, and thus the half-brother of Felice della Rovere Orsini, Julius' daughter. A cardinal since 1517, he had been participating in conclaves since 1521-1522. He became Dean of the Sacred College in 1537. He was a close friend of St. Ignatius Loyola. [ His stemma at right ]
The security of the Conclave was placed by the Sacred College in the hands of Count Niccolò Orsini, with five hundred troops in addition to the Swiss Guard. The city itself, and the defense of the Vatican were placed in the care of Orazio Farnese, nephew of the deceased pope and Prefect of the City of Rome, with four thousand soldiers (Matteo Dandolo says 7,000). These special arrangements were made necessary by the revolt of Ascanio Colonna against the papal government.
The Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals was Msgr. Giovanni Francesco Bini.
The Maestro di Ceremonie was Msgr. Giovanni Francesco Firmano. His diary from 1529 to 1565 survives in manuscripts.
The death of Pope Paul III (Farnese) had been anticipated for quite some time, though, at the age of 82, he seemed to be in good health, was active, and was fully engaged in business. That did not, however, prevent the pratticà from beginning.
Who were the French supporting? According to Florentine sources in Rome (Averardo Serristori), Henri II was supporting Salviati, Ridolfi and Trani [de Cupis]. The future Cardinal (1565), Prospero Santacroce, Bishop of Kisamos on Crete (1548-1572) and former Nuncio to France, described Henri II as "princeps etsi ingenii mediocris, summae tamen probitatis ac constantis animi in amandis his, quos sibi praecipue delegerat: ex quibus rerum omnium ac negotiorum summam ad Annam Montmorantium Galliae connestabilem deferebat. Amabat autem mirum in modum ex familia Guisiorum sex fratres, quorum consuetudine jam inde a pueritia usus fuerat." [Martene & Durand Veterum scriptorum monumentorum amplissima collectio Tomus V (Paris 1729), 1427]. According to Florentine sources in Paris (Amerigo Benci, who got his information from Queen Catherine), the French wanted Ridolfi and then Ferrara [d'Este]. According to the conclavist of Cardinal Juan Álvarez de Toledo (Buonanni), who was reading the Cardinal's private exchanges with the Emperor Charles V, Cardinal de Guise had been instructed to support the Cardinal de Lorraine, then the Cardinal de Tournon, and any other French cardinals; failing those, he was to work for Salviati, Ridolfi or de Cupis. [Petruccelli II, 25-26; Druffel I, p. 351]. One thing was clear: Henri II did not want Cardinal Reginald Pole to be Pope [Ribier II, 258 (December 3, 1549)]. Another thing is clear, as well, that the insistence on the election of Charles de Guise-Lorraine, Archbishop of Reims and Coadjutor of Metz, who was only twenty-five years old, was one of Henri II's more foolish ideas. One should take note of the repeated mention of the viability of 'older cardinals' in Cardinal Guise's long apology written to Henri II on the day of the election [Druffel II, no. 386]. One of the arguments in favor of Ciocchi del Monte was that he was 63 years old.
The Imperial Ambassador in Rome was Don Diego [Didacus] de Mendoza. He is described by Prospero Santacroce [Martene & Durand Veterum scriptorum monumentorum amplissima collectio Tomus V (Paris 1729), 1431]:
Erat Romae pro Carolo V. imperatore orator Didacus de Mendoza, vir acris ingenii, sed ad malum proni, qui etiam novitatibus vehementer studeret; neque satis benevolo in Farnesios nomo, quod in amondo nobilissimam ac pulcherrimam mulierem rivales cum extitissent, graves inter illos injuriae intercesserant. Is imperatori significat,
Farbesuis Oarnan nullo pacto retinere posse, quod in ea civitate sola ab omnibus circumvicinis timere deberent; neque tantum facultatem habere ad milites retinendos, quos defensioni necessarios haberent. Proinde illos necessario cum aliquo principe de illa pacturos. Id si fieret, rebus imperatoris vehementer incommodum futurum, quod inde bellum alis atque agrum Mediolanensem perpetuo vastari posse affirmabat. Itaque in Italia, cujus magnam jam partem obtinebat, belli excitandi causam omnem exscindendam esse, atque hanc, tamquam viam ad incendium, omnino tollendam.
And of course, the Farnese were driven toward "some other prince"—the King of France, this despite the fact that Ottavio Farnese, Paul III's grandson, was married to the illegitimate daughter of Charles V [cf. Druffel I, no. 322 and 325]. Ottavio's change of sides was a severe blow to his grandfather's plans and policies.
On November 3, the Pope was in good health and celebrated the anniversary of his coronation with elaborate ceremonies [d'Urfe to Henri II (November 5, 1549) Ribier II, p. 251]. Severely depressed (it is said) by the treachery of his own family and by the fall of Parma to Emperor Charles V, he had such a heated argument with his nephew Cardinal Farnese that he had grabbed his red beretta and thrown it down on the ground. His wrath was so great that it injured him—a heart attack probably. Cardinal Farnese took care to close the highways and bridges and secure the Castel S. Angelo. He sent couriers to Naples, Venice, Bologna and Tuscany. This crisis finally took the Pope's life four days later, on November 10, 1549, aged eighty-one. (The Venetian Ambassador, Matteo Dandolo, who had access to the results of the opening of the body of the dead pope, relates nel cuore erano tre goccie di sangue agghiacciato, giudicato provenire dal moto della colere [Matteo Dandalo, in Alberi, 342]). On Wednesday evening, November 6 Pope Paul III suddenly contracted a fever. He retreated to the Quirinale hill, where the air was healthier than at the Vatican. On November 7, the agent of King Ferdinand, Diego Lasso, wrote to his master [Druffel I, no. 344, p. 293]
Miercoles a los seis deste a dos horas de la noche le vino a su S(antid)ad una gran calentura, y dizen que fue la ocasion de unas cartas que tuvo de su nieto el duque Octavio, en que escrevia sobre las cosas de Parma, cosas fuera de su voluntad. Luego se ha hecho muy gran diligencia en cerrar las puertas, y que non saliesse fuera ningun despacho, y por esto no se a escrito hasta esta tarde. Dien questa mañana le a crecido la calentura, estase esperando lo que puede ser de un hombre de ochenta años, los suyos encomiençan a proveer lo mejor que pueden; y pareçe que en ningun tiempo peor les pudiera venir esta muerte del papa, de la qual, y de lo que sucediere, avisare a V. M(aiest)ad con todas las ocasiones.
The French Ambassador in Rome, M. d' Urfé, immediately reported to King Henri [November 7, 1549: Ribier II, 252]:
Mercredy au soir sixiesme de ce mois a dix-neuf heures, tomba subitement un catharre au Pape qui le mist en tels termes que pue esperoient de sa gurison, et soudain le Cardinal Farnese, avant que personne en sceust rien, depesche quatre courriers .... pour vous dire que je pense plustost la briefve fin du Pape, qu'autrement, et pour la haste ou je suis, je ne puis vous dire tout ce que je suis deliberé de faire; car advenant le vacant du Papat, je veux bien vous asseurer, Sire, que je n' espargneray ny peine ny hazard pour servir vostre Majesté. Cependant il seroit necessaire que Messieurs les Cardinaux fussent icy: car il ny en a que deux François qui sont Armagnac et Meudon: le Cardinal Farnese s' est impatronise du Chasteau Sainct Ange, auquel il a mis pour luy le sieur Storre Baillon, avec cent hommes, et dit-on de plus qu'il fait son pouvoir pour faire entrer le Duc Octavio dans Parme....
Rome, surprisingly, did not immediately erupt in violence. This is perhaps in part because Camillo Orsini had been made Governor of Parma and was away from Rome; he was also the husband of Vittoria Colonna, daughter and heiress of Pierfrancesco Colonna, Lord of Zagarolo, Gallicano and Colonna. The Orsini Conte Niccolò di Pitigliano was Captain of the papal guard, and it was his duty to guard the Papal Palace. The French Ambassador reported on November 19 [Ribier II, 252-254]:
apres la mort du Pape, qui fut le 10. de ce mois, l'on craignoit un grand trouble en cette ville, et pensoit-on, tant pour la haine que l'on porte au nom de Farnese, comme pour les querelles et divisions particulieres, ou par les Imperiaux, ou Colonnois, il deust avoir émotion fort grade entre ces Seigneurs, mais l' ordre y a esté mis si dextrement, et les gens de guerre de si bonne heure, que vivant le Pape, il n'y avoit point telle tranquillite a Rome, comme celle qui y est de present; et ne se sont monstrez les Colonnois, sinon en quelque petite ville de leur Patrimoine qu'ils ont reprise
Cardinal Du Bellay's residence was entered by soldiers, but without violence. D'Urfé went on the same day to the Congregation of Cardinals, where the influence of the Spanish Ambassador was already in evidence. He nonetheless received a friendly hearing.
The Acta Consistorialia report that Pope Paul III died on Sunday, November 10, 1549 [Eubel III, 20 n. 2]:
1549 Nov. 10 die dominica in aurora Paulus pp. III febre continua et catarrho correptus, diem supremum obiit.
The Pope's body was transported to the Vatican on the same day as his death and placed very briefly in the Consistory Hall. It was then carried on a litter through Trastevere accompanied by 60 torches, 100 horse, and infantry.
In the afternoon of the 10th of November, the Cardinals met in the First Congregation, where they received the French Ambassador, d'Urfé, who promised the full support of the King of France for whatever they might require. The Fisherman's ring and all the seals were broken. The governors of the City (Duke Orazio Farnese), the Borgo, the Campagna, and Viterbo were appointed. The body of the Pope was then carried to St. Peters, amidst heavy rain, and placed on view in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, which continued until the 12th. On the morning of the 13th it was interred.
During the same days the Cardinals, led by the Camerlengo, Cardinal Sforza, inventoried the papal valuables. In the Castel S. Angelo alone was found 440,000 scudi
There were fifty-four cardinals at the time of the pope's death. A list of the Cardinals is given by Eubel III, p. 31 n. 1: forty-eight cardinals entered Conclave on November 29, 1549, and they were later joined by three others. Two cardinals died during the Conclave (Ennio Filonardi and Nicolò Ridolfi), and two others (Marcello Cervini and Philippe de la Chambre) did not participate in the final vote, since illness forced them to leave the Conclave. A list of all of the cardinals is given by Onuphrio Panvinio (pp. 416-417).
The Venetian Ambassador, Matteo Dandolo, proudly notes that twelve of the Cardinals had studied at the University of Padua: Pio da Carpi, Morone, Madruzzo, Truchsess, Farnese, Verallo, Maffei, Pole, Savelli, Capodiferro, Sfondrato and Ferrerio [Relazioni, p. 349-350].
The Novendiales, which should have begun on the second day after the Pope's death, were a long time in beginning. The Acta Consistorialia report [Eubel III, p. 20 n. 2]:
pro quo defuncto exequiae inchoatae sunt 1549 Nov. 19, oratione funebri per Romul. Amaseum habita, et finitae Nov. 28.
The Conclave had been due to begin on November 19, but the three French cardinals in Rome requested additional time for their associates to arrive. The late start of the Novendiales made the delay possible. It also gave plenty of extra time for ambassadors to communicate with their sovereigns and for Cardinals to receive instructions from their patrons. Bernardino della Croce had demanded entrance and a vote, having been named a Cardinal by Paul III in a secret consistory, but his claim was rejected [Cartwright, 129-130; Baronius-Theiner 33, sub anno 1549 no. 15, p. 356].
Novaes says that there were three factions, the Imperialists, the French, and the Farnesiani; and that the most likely soggetti papabili were Cardinals Pole, Sfondrati, Carpi and Ridolfi (who died on the night of January 31). Concerning Carpi, however, the Imperial Ambassador wrote to Charles V, es tan mal quisto en el universal; y tiene tantos enemigos entre los votos de V. M(ajest)ad y de Fernes, que perderian reputacion de manera que no podria tornar a subir a los otros. In a private conversation with Cardinal Francisco Mendoza de Bobadilla, the Florentine agent, Averardo Serristori (who was coordinating with Don Diego Mendoza, the Ambassador of Charles V in Rome), said that, although he had no instructions from his Duke, he thought nevertheless that the Bishop of Burgos, Cardinal Juan Álvarez, was the best choice [Legazioni, p. 209 (November 10) and 211 (November 30)] for the Imperialists. Gonzaga, however, had written to Grenvelle, the Spanish First Minister, with a recommendation in favor of Salviati, and he was also importuning Don Diego Mendoza. Cardinal Mendoza remarked that the King would rather have the Devil as Pope.
On the 29th, Don Diego Mendoza, the Imperial ambassador was received in audience by the Cardinals during one of their General Congregations. He announced that Charles V would not accept the removal of the Council of Trent to Bologna.
In a letter of November 30, 1549, however, just as the Conclave was opening, Serristori wrote to the Duke of Florence that, if the Imperialists and the followers of Farnese did not agree on one of the four candidates, Álvarez, Pole, Sfondrati and del Monte, then the Imperialists were going to have to unite with the French and make Salviati pope:
Intenzione del Signor D. Diego, secondo mio giudizio, e stata di far cascare il Papato in persona di Salviati; il che succederebbe ogni volta che una delle due fazioni imperial e farnesana di disunisse, perche qualsivoglia delle due parti disunite non sarebbe bastante, insieme con l' altra ancorche unita, fare il Papa; pure fino a qui, Dio grazia, l' una e l' altra parte sta ferma di modo che le speranze loro vengono in parte diminuite, e tutto il fondamento loro resta che, non si accordando Imperiali e Farnesani a far Papa uno de' quattro, Burgos, Inghilterra, Sfordrato o Monte, di necessita abbia a cadere in Salviati, sendo forzato Farnese a ricorrere alla parte francese per far Papa Santa Croce; nel qual caso D. Diego ha ordinato che gl' Imperiali si uniscano coi Francesi si faccia Papa Salviati.
All of these statements, though, must be taken in context. They come from diplomats, who were engaged in manipulating fellow diplomats and cardinals into choosing a pope to the liking of their masters.
The Conclave finally opened on Thursday, November 29, 1549 [Ambassador D'Urfé to King Henri II (December 6, 1549): Ribier II, 254; Baronius-Theiner 33, sub anno 1549 no. 18, p. 357]. The Mass of the Holy Spirit was sung in St. Peter's, and the Oration de pontifice eligendo was pronounced by Joannes Beroaldus, Bishop of Telese. During the first week, twenty-eight votes were required for a canonical election [Ribier II, 254], implying an attendance at the time of 40 to 42 cardinals; Diego Mendoza actually says that there were forty-one cardinals on December 5. Eventually, as more electors arrived, thirty-two votes were needed to elect, 46 to 48 cardinals. In the final vote, 47 cardinals participated.
It was not until the evening of November 30 that the Conclave was finally enclosed. During the customary search of the premises, seven unauthorized individuals were found hiding inside the area and were immediately expelled. The doors were then sealed [Mattheo Dandolo to the Signoria of Venice (November 30, 1549) in Brown, Calendar, no. 595, pp. 279-280].
On December 2, at the General Congregation, it was decided that the votes would be given publicly. After that decision, Cardinal Carafa lept up with a series of accusations against Cardinal Pole for heresy. Diego Mendoza, the Imperial Ambassador, reported to the Emperor [Druffel I, no. 352, p. 306 (Rome, December 5, 1549)]:
Lo que despues se offresce es que a los II. [December 2, 1549], despues de haverse determinado que los votos se diessen publicos, salto el cardenal Theatino con un processo o capitulos de accusacion contra el cardinal de Ingalaterra de ciertos errores en nuestra religion que turbo todo el collegio; a que el de Ingalaterra respondio mostrando tractarle como a loco, y a vezes ryendo y a vezes con autoridades de la sagrada scriptura le convencio, de manera que huvo VIII votos que fuesse castigado Theatino en la persona, y XVIII en que se apartassen del como de descomulgado.
This caused the cardinals to begin to reexamine the matter of a public vote. A secret ballot might allow them to vote their real feelings and real loyalties. Twenty of the forty-one cardinals were finding themselves voting for someone else than the person they really wanted (at least according to the Imperial Ambassador). A similar point was made by Averardo Serristori, in a despatch sent after the election [Legazioni, p. 241 (February 28, 1550)]:
... molti della banda imperiale, per obbedire a S. M. Cesarea sono andati contro ai propri desideri loro, come hanno acche fatto parte delle Farnesani....
The first several days of the Conclave were taken up with the business of drawing up Electoral Capitulations [Mendoza to Charles V (December 5, 1549); De Leva, "La elezione," p. 27]. The first scrutiny did not take place until Wednesday, December 4. Reginald Cardinal Pole (Archbishop of Canterbury), the favorite of the Imperial party, was said to have received 26 votes, two short of election (the French Ambassador, d'Urfé, reported that it was 22 votes; the Imperial Ambassador that it was 23). At that point the number of votes needed for a canonical election was 28. The results of the first scrutiny were [according to Serristori, Legazioni, p. 219]:
The Imperial Ambassador reported that Sfondrato had 23, and Burgos had 17. One of his inside contacts was Ayala, one of the conclavists of Cardinal Pacheco. It was reported that Cardinal Pachecco was at Viterbo on December 4, and was being transported in a litter, since he was indisposed. He arrived in Rome around midday, and immediately joined the Conclave. Cardinal Cueva also had a chance to speak with Serristori, and whispered to him that on the 5th Pole would be Pope [Legazioni, p. 219]. Pole was only three votes short of election. There were, however, according to Don Diego Mendoza, 16 or 17 votes firmly against Pole, which meant that he was excluded [Legazioni, p. 220; Dandolo, in Brown, no. 596, p. 280].
When the French Ambassador heard of the results of the first scrutiny, he immediately presented himself at the Gate of the Conclave. He spoke with the Master of Ceremonies (probably Giovanni Francesco Firmano), who was the outside Guardian of the Gate, and informed him that he had news that the French Cardinals, who had not yet appeared, had embarked at Marseille and had travelled as far as the Island of Corsica, where they were detained by bad weather and by the locals, who wanted to assure themselves as to who the travellers were and where they were going. The Ambassador requested that the Cardinals postpone the next ballot until the end of the week to give the French Cardinals time to join the Conclave. He also threatened that, if the Cardinals insisted on proceeding with the election, he would lodge an official Protest in the name of the King of France and claim that the Election was invalid. His story of the journey of the Cardinals was in fact a lie, and his threat to reject an election nothing but a bluff. The Ambassador, in truth, had not heard of the Cardinals since they had left Moulins. Likewise, he had no present intention to attempt to invalidate the Election, though he had heard that the Cardinal of Trent, Cristoforo Madruzzo [medal at right], had instructions from the Emperor to enter a Protest if the wrong person were elected pope. The Master of Ceremonies summoned the Committee of Cardinals who handled communications with the outside to come to the door. Two hours later, d'Urfé returned and the six Cardinals on the Committee appeared and demanded to see the Ambassador's Instructions, which he handed over to the Dean, Cardinal de Cupis. They listened to him repeat his message and his threat, but the Dean would only agree to transmit the Ambassador's message to the entire College; later they would give him a reply. D'Urfé believed that the Cardinals would not agree or reply, because they were eager to make Cardinal Pole pope. [Ribier II, 234-236]
An attempt was, in fact, made that evening to proclaim Cardinal Pole "by adoration", but the Cardinal himself resisted [Letter of Cardinal Pole to the Bishop of Badajoz, Epistolarum Reginaldi Poli IV (ed. Quirini) pp. 58-62 (June 17, 1550)]. Matteo Dandolo, the Venetian ambassador, says that Pole stated he did not wish to enter per fenestram sed per ostium (that is, not by 'adoration', but by a regular scrutiny) [Relazioni, p. 346].
At the second scrutiny on Thursday, December 5, the votes were:
|Salviati||21 (or 17)|
|Cervini (Santa Croce)||21|
Serristori remarks [Legazioni, p. 216 (December 5, 1549)] that Cardinal Gonzaga had cast his vote for Álvarez and Pole.
Diego Mendoza reported that, at the Third Scrutiny on Friday the 6th, Pole had 24 votes on the scrutiny, and two more at the accessio:
|Pole (Inghilterra)||24 + 2|
|De Cupis (Trani)||16|
On The Fourth Scrutiny, on Saturday the 7th, according to Mendoza [Druffel I, p. 313], Pole had 22 votes:
|De Cupis (Trani)||16|
|Cervini (Santa Croce)||16|
Mendoza draws the Emperor's attention to the consistent sixteen votes which were deployed against Pole, Alvarez and Sfondrato. These, he conjectures, were others than from the party of Cardinal Farnese and from the Imperialists. He characterizes these cardinals as los viejos, ricos y dissolutos, and states that Ferrara (d'Este) was one of them.
On Sunday, in the fifth scrutiny, the vote was:
|De Cupis (Trani)||16|
|Cervini (Santa Croce)||16|
The next scrutiny, the Sixth, on Monday, showed the following results [Druffel I, p. 316]:
|Álvarez (Burgos)||14 + 1|
|Pole (Inglaterra)||22 + 2|
|De Cupis (Trani)||7|
|Cervini (Santa Croce)||5|
On Thursday, December 12, five absent French cardinals finally arrived: de Guise, du Bellay, Vendome, Chastillon and Tournon [Ribier II, 257-258]. The number of cardinals in attendance had reached 47 [Matteo Dandolo, in Brown, no. 600, p. 284]. In the scrutiny of December 13, Pole got only one more vote (none of them French), and Alvarez 18. French orders were obviously to exclude Pole by their votes. Diego Mendoza remarked to Charles V (despatch of December 13, 1549) that Pole would never be pope without the French, and the French would never vote for him [Durffel I, p. 320]. The King of France, Henri II, favored his long-standing personal friend, Cardinal Ippolito d'Este II, but that too was an impossibility. The other French choices were Guise, Ridolfi, Salviati and Cervini. [De Leva, 77-78]. Cardinal Alessandro Farnese was promoting Cardinal Marcello Cervini, but the Imperial forces blocked him. The French were promoting Giovanni Salviati (Bishop of Porto) and Ridolfo Pio de Carpi. It gradually became apparent that one side would continue to exclude the candidates of the others, and so a compromise began to be sought. Matteo Dandolo remarked that Cardinal Farnese could make a pope out of either Cardinal del Monte or Cardinal Cervini, whenever he chose to desert the Imperialists and join the French [Brown, p. 284].
On Monday, December 16, Cardinal Filonardo left the conclave because of illness; three days later he was dead. The conclavist Ayala reported to Ambassador Mendoza the results of the thirteenth scrutiny:
|De Cupis (Trani)||6|
|Cervini (Santa Croce)||7|
With regard to the surprising number of votes for Carafa, Ayala remarks, "que esto de Teatino es mas por hazer oposito a Polo que por sacarle papa, en que no piensan." But Carafa's votes were already beginning to redeploy themselves, and in the next scrutiny he lost a quarter of them. Ayala also reported the news of a letter received by Cardinal Farnese from the Bishop of Fano, Pietro Bertano, the Nuncio to Charles V, which stated that the Emperor was summoning all his bishops to Trent; Fano expressed the fear that, unless they elected a 'good pontiff', the Emperor and his bishops would depose him and have somebody else [Druffel I, p. 325]
At the Fourteenth Scrutiny, on December 17, Ayala reports [Druffel I, pp. 327-328]:
|De Cupis (Trani)||1|
|Cervini (Santa Croce)||6|
|Guise||18 + 2|
|d' Este (Ferrara)||2|
Guise was the surprise in this scrutiny, though, of course, this was a demonstration of the power of the French faction; one of his accession votes came from Cardinal Farnese (who apologized to the members of the Imperial party the next day). This was a major change. Guise was now in the center of things. In his report of December 17, Ayala speaks of "Guisa, que es el que tiene todo el manejo de los negocios y que le propone y dispone"
At the Fifteenth Scrutiny on December 18 the results were [Druffel I, p. 333]:
|De Cupis (Trani)||4|
|Cervini (Santa Croce)||6|
|d' Este (Ferrara)||1|
Guise received no votes, Ayala notes, which set everyone to whispering.
On Thursday, December 19, Ambassador Mendoza wrote to the Emperor Charles that the Imperial cardinals and Farnese's faction were still holding with Pole [Druffel I, p. 334].
On Sunday, the 22nd, Cardinal Cervini left the Conclave, suffering from the quartan fever. He was carried to Cardinal Farnese's palace at San Lorenzo. In the nineteenth scrutiny Pole had 23 votes. Carafa 20. After the vote, Carafa gave a graceful speech, thanking the Cardinals for their support and requesting them to leave him for some better candidate [Matteo Dandolo (December 23, 1549), in Brown, no. 603, p. 286]. Pole also gave a speech, thanking his supporters, but he made no statement releasing them from their promises to vote for him [Anonymous conclavist, included in a despatch of Dandolo, Brown no. 604 p. 286].
On Saturday, December 28, the number needed to elect stood at 33 [Guise to Henri II (December 28, 1549): Ribier II, p. 260], of a total at the time of 49 or 50 cardinals. Cardinals Georges d'Amboise and Philippe de la Chambre had finally arrived on the afternoon of the 28th [Dandalo, in Brown, no. 610, no. 289], though the Cardinal de Lorraine was still on the road. In a dispatch on the same day, Dandolo enclosed a memorandum from a conclavist, giving the results of a Scrutiny: Pole 23; Burgos 20; Trani 21. This might have referred to the Twenty-fourth Scrutiny on December 27, or perhaps the Twenty-fifth on December 28 [Brown, Calendar no. 609, p. 289].
Writing on December 29, the French ambassador announced that several more French Cardinals had arrived, the Cardinal de Boulogne [Philippe de la Chambre, OSB] and the Cardinal d'Amboise [D'Urfé to Henri II (January 20, 1150) Ribier II, 258]. In a letter to the King on the night of December 28, "de la prison du Conclave" [Ribier II, p. 260-261], Guise and d'Este listed, by order and by seniority, the members of the French faction:
Les Cardinaux de la bande Françoise à present au Conclave, Trani [de Cupis], Salviati, Boulogne [Philippe de la Chambre], de Monte, Tournon, Bellay, Lenoncourt, Desis [Carpi], Meudon, Armaignac, Amboise, Guise, Veroli, Ridolphi, Pisani, Chastillon, Sermonetti, Ferrare [d'Este], S. George, Crispo, Vendosme. Lorraine arrive demain, Bourbon j' espere qu'il sera icy dedans cinq ou six jours, nous avons envoyé le prier de faire toute diligence; de Giuri ou Annebault, nous n'en avons point de nouvelles. Gady a jusques-icy fait le fou autant Imperial que nostre, neantmoins sous nous en servions comme je croy au besoin, et sera bien fait luy faire quelque jour sentir. Theatin et saincte Croix sont vos serviteurs: mais ils ne monstrent affection qu' a leur conscience. Tous les autres sont Imperiaux et Farnese, exceptè deux secrets que l'Ambassadeur vous mandera, et deux autres, dont à tous les besoins Monsieur le Cardinal de Ferrare nous fait servir.
It is shocking to see that the French King's favorite candidate, the Cardinal de Lorraine, had not yet arrived in Rome eight weeks after the death of the pope.
On January 1, the 23 cardinals who had been voting for Cardinal Pole hit on a plan to cast their ballots for Cardinal Álvarez (Burgos), one of those favored by Charles V and Cosimo II, who had been making a respectable showing since the first scrutiny, with around sixteen votes. They were hoping to attract the cardinals who would never vote for Pole (including Verallo) and then perhaps a few French votes. They believed that they were within one vote of making him pope, when the plan was discovered, and it fell apart [Serristori, Legazioni, p. 227]. Álvarez reached as high as twenty-six votes [De Leva, 77], but could not break through.
On January 7, Pole got 23 votes, Carafa, 22, de Cupis 21, and Antoine Sanguin de Meudon 1 [Brown no. 618]
On January 8, Cardinal Farnese was informed that a reply to inquiries of the Emperor had been received. The Emperor was still in favor of Bourgos and Pole, and that he was most definitely not in favor of Marcello Cervini, or for that matter of Salviati or Ridolfi [Brown, Calendar, nos. 616 and 617]. In fact Farnese was warned, or should one say threatened, that if he deviated from Imperial instructions, bad things would begin to happen to him, to the point that he would be ruined. Pole still got 23 votes in the Scrutiny, and Carafa got 22 [Brown, no. 618].
On January 10 a conclavist sent a letter to Matteo Dandolo, reporting that, at the Scrutiny on that day [the 38th?], Cardinal Pole had received 21 votes (down two from the previous scrutiny), Carafa 21, and Visco 13 (9 of which were French) [Brown, Calendar no. 619, p. 294; 620, p. 295; Brown believes "Visco" was Crispo, but Farnese, who was Bishop of Viseu, is the more likely recipient of thirteen votes]. Dandolo reported on the 11th that there had been a private meeting of the French cardinals, and that Guise had warned them in the name of King Henri not to vote for Pole [Brown, Calendar no. 621, p. 296].
Cardinal Ridolfi was carried out of the Conclave on Monday, January 13, having been seized by fits of vomiting; he died at his palace on January 31 [Matteo Dandolo, in Brown, Calendar no. 630 (January 22, 1550); De Leva, 89]. The Cardinal de Chastillon wrote to the Constable Anne de Montmorency on January 31 that Ridolfi had been ill for 10-12 days, and that he had died sitting on his commode [Druffel I, no. 383, p. 349]. In a brief note to King Henri II on February 2, Ambassador d'Urfé remarked that, when they opened the body of Cardinal Ridolfi, it was discovered that he had been poisoned [Ribier II, p. 263]:
Cependant je vous diray que depuis le trespas du Cardinal Ridolphi, on l'a fait ouvrir, et trouvé manifestement qu'il estoit empoisonné, vous avez perdu, Sire, un bon et fidele serviteur.
Matteo Dandolo, the Venetian Ambassador, spoke with Master Realdo, former lecturer at Padua, who performed the autopsy on Cardinal Ridolfi. Dandolo was assured that Ridolfi's heart, liver, bowels and stomach were so injured (guasto) and spotted that, had Realdo given Ridolfi the poison with his own hand, he should not be more sure of the fact [Brown, Calendar no. 640].
The Cardinal de Bourbon finally arrived and entered the Conclave on Tuesday, January 14, 1550, raising the number of cardinals present to 48, and the number needed to elect to 32. It was remarked that both Cervini and the French Cardinal de Boulogne [Philippe de la Chambre, OSB] were still ill, but that they intended to return to the Conclave when the serious voting began [Brown, Calendar, no. 627, p. 298]. Boulogne was said to be ill owing to the siringa. The scrutiny of that day (the 42nd?) produced 19 votes for the Cardinal de Bourbon, 21 for Pole, Carafa 22. [Dandolo (January 15, 1550), in Brown, Calendar p. 299]
On Wednesday January 15, Cardinal Giovanni Morone, the Bishop of Modena, who had been born in Milan and served as Legate in Bologna from 1542-1548, emerged with 24 votes and two accessions. But this was as far as his candidacy got.
Thursday's scrutiny gave Morone 13, Pole 21 and Carafa 22, and 17 to De Cupis (Trani) [Brown, Calendar no. 628 and 629, p. 299-300]. Cardinal Cornaro declared in a letter that his conscience compelled him to vote for Cardinal Pole.
The Scrutiny [XLV ?] on Friday, January 17 produced 13 votes for Morone, 21 for Pole and 22 for Carafa [Brown, Calendar no. 629, p. 299].
Cardinal Ridolfi was not the only person leaving the Conclave in mid-January. Sanitary conditions inside the Conclave area were deteriorating. On January 10, Matteo Dandolo wrote of the stink and stench of the Conclave (nella puzza et fettore del conclave). In a letter of January 22, Dandolo adds [Brown, Calendar no. 630] that numbers of people are leaving the Conclave sick and almost dead. There was a terrific stench, owing to the unsanitary conditions. Also, charcoal fires were being used to keep warm in the dead of winter, which may account itself for the light-headedness, vomiting, and sickness which is noted. Carbon monoxide poisoning from the charcoal fires produces all of these symptoms. The three Conclave doctors were apparently not enough to handle the medical problems. Eventually the Cardinals had to send for a whole squad of doctors from the outside to come to the Conclave on a daily basis. On January 30, they admitted three Italians, a German, a Frenchman and a Spaniard [Marini, Degli archiatri pontefici (Roma 1784) pp. 392-393].
Cardinal Cibo left the Conclave due to illness on Thursday, January 23, but Matteo Dandolo reported in a letter to the Signoria of Venice on January 25 that the Cardinal was better, as was Ridolfi, and they hoped to return during the next week [Brown, Calendar, no. 633, p. 302].
As these events were transpiring in the Conclave, King Henri was writing to the Cardinal de Guise [Ribier II, 261-262 (January 25, 1550)], under pressure from his aunt's husband, Ercole II, the Duke of Ferrara (Cardinal d'Este's brother). Ferrara was using all of his influence through the King of France to have a candidate of his own, "Brusquet", supported for the Papacy. Henri agreed to use his French votes to support this candidate, who was agreed to be a good man for the French cause and was in any event one of the candidates that the French were already promoting—but only if the campaigns for "Fourfoulou" and "Rigolieres" did not succeed. "Brusquet" was obviously the Duke's brother, the Cardinal d'Este of Ferrara. The others were Lorraine and Ridolfi [Ribier II, p. 350], and Ridolfi died on January 31.
On January 29, Matteo Dandolo, the Venetian Ambassador reported to the Signoria [Brown, Calendar no. 635] that every morning there was a scrutiny, each of which produced 21 votes for Carafa, 21 votes for Pole and the rest scattered but not given da seno (heartfelt).
With all of the preferred candidates both of the Emperor Charles and King Henri blocked, there were really only two possibilities, Cervini (who was firmly in favor of Cardinal Pole, and who was absolutely excluded by the Emperor) and del Monte. Del Monte belonged to the Farnese faction, and was believed to be friendly toward the French; the Imperial party, therefore, found him obnoxious. Cardinal de Guise, too, had a number of negative observations to make about him, including his temper and his scandalous private life, and did his best to oppose the candidacy.
Nonetheless, on February 7, 1550, in the evening, Cardinal Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, aged sixty-three, was elected (in the Roman reckoning it was already Saturday, February 8). In the final vote, forty-six cardinals participated; only Madruzzi, Pacheco, Gonzaga and Cueva refrained from the adoration [Dispatch of Matteo Dandolo, February 8, 1550; de Leva, p. 38]. Two cardinals [Trani and Naples] did not participate due to illness, nor did they participate in the Coronation [Diary of Angelo Massarello, in Gattico I, p. 391]. After the election, Cardinal de Guise was compelled to request the assistance of Cardinal Sforza in making his peace with the new Pope (Leti, Cardinalismo, 177).
The Conclave cost over 300,000 ecus, according to Cardinal de Guise (after February 8, 1550) [Druffel I, p. 356], a figure which is seconded by Matteo Dandolo, as coming directly from the Treasurer of the Apostolic Camera, in a dispatch of January 15, 1550 [Brown, Calendar no. 627 p. 278].
Julius III, was crowned on February 22, 1550, the Feast of St. Peter's Chair, by Cardinal Innocenzo Cibò, the Cardinal Protodeacon [Diary of Angelo Massarello, Master of Ceremonies]. Forty-two cardinals participated; four did not do so. Cristoforo Madruzzo of Trent had already set off for home, while Carpi, da Silva, and Charles de Lorraine-Guise were in Rome but ill. The Pope intended to take part in the possessio ceremonies at the Lateran on March 14, 1550. But after the procession set out from the Vatican, the weather turned worse and rain drove Julius to seek shelter at S. Maria sopra Minerva; when the rain did not let up, he decided to spend the night in the monastery with the monks, and the next morning he celebrated a Pontifical Solemn Mass in the Minerva [Diary of Angelo Massarello, Master of Ceremonies]. Julius III finally took possession of his cathedral, the Lateran Basilica, on June 24.
A copious list of primary sources is given by Anton Pieper, Die päpstlichen Legaten und Nuntien in Deutschland, Frankreich und Spanien I. Theil (Munster 1897) 1-2.
Matteo Dandolo, A Roman Conclave: Reported chiefly from Notes Communicated to the Signory of Venice by Matteo Dandolo, their Ambassador at Rome preceding the Election of Pope Julius III, A.D. 1550 (D. Duncan and Sons, "South Wales Daily News" Office, 1877) [non vidi]. Rawdon Brown (editor), Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts Relating, to English Affairs existing in the archives and collections of Venice Volume V 1534-1554 (London 1873), pp. 293-294 (dispatch of Dandolo to the Signiory of Venice, January 8, 1550). Eugenio Alberi (editor), L' Italia nel secolo decimosesto, ossia, Le relazioni degli ambasciatori veneti III (Firenze 1858), pp. 335-357 [Dandolo's relazione of June 29, 1551, narrating the last days of Paul III and the Sede Vacante of 1549-1550].
Lodovico Frati, "I ricordi di due Papi," Archivio storico italiano 35 (Firenze 1905), pp. 447-452 [Memorandum of Paul III for Ranuccio Farnese].
Joannes Baptista Gattico, Acta Selecta Caeremonialia Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae ex variis mss. codicibus et diariis saeculi xv. xvi. xvii. Tomus I (Romae 1753).
Angelo Massarelli, "De Pontificatu Julii III," in J. J. Döllinger, Sammlung von Urkunden zur Geschichte des Concils von Trient I (Nördlingen 1876), 259-326 [Massarelli, Doctor in utroque iure, was secretary of the Council of Trent from 1545-1549, under the direction of Cardinal Cervini, and then papal secretary and chamberlain to Julius III; he was Bishop of Telese from December 15, 1557 to his death on July 17, 1566].
Guillaume Ribier, Lettres et mémoires d' État des Roys, Princes, Ambassadeurs et autres Ministres sous les règnes de François Ier, Henry II et François II Tome II (Blois 1666).
Eugenio Alberi (editor), Relazioni degli Ambasciatori Veneti al Senato Serie II–Volume III (Firenze 1846): Relazioni della Corte di Roma nel secolo XVI (edited by Tommaso Gar) Vol. I, pp. 337-348. Rawdon Brown (editor), Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts relating to English Affairs existing in the Archives and Collections of Venice, Volume V, 1534-1544 (London 1873).
Averardo Serristori: Giuseppe Canestrini (editor), Legazioni di Averardo Serristori Ambasciatore di Cosimo I a Carlo quinto in corte di Roma (1537-1568) con un 'appendice di documenti spettanti alle legazioni di messer Giovanni Serristori, ambasciatore della republica fiorentina (1409-1414) (Firenze: Felice le Monnier, 1853), pp. 207-229.
Prospero Santacroce, "De civilibus Galliae dissensionibus commentariorum Libri III," in E.Martène & U.Durand Veterum scriptorum monumentorum amplissima collectio Tomus V (Paris 1729), pp. 1427-1480. G. B. Adriani (editor), "Sanctacrucii Cardinalis Prosperi de vita atque rebus gestis ab anno MDXIV ad MDLXVII," in Miscellanea di storia italiana Tomo V (Torino 1868), pp. 477-992.
August von Druffel (ed. Karl Brandi) Beiträge zur Reichsgeschichte, 1546-1551 (München 1873) [Briefe und Akten zur Geschichte des sechzehnten Jahrhunderts, I]
Onuphrio Panvinio, Epitome Pontificum Romanorum a S. Petro usque ad Paulum IIII gestorum (videlicet) electionisque singulorum & Conclavium compendiaria narratio (Venice: Impensis Iacobi Strada, 1557).
Francesco Maria Cardinal Sforza Pallavicino, S. J., Istoria del Concilio di Trento Book XI, chapter vi [Opere edite ed inedite del Cardinale Sforza Pallavicino, ordinata e pubblicata da Ottavio Gigli, Tomo XIII (Roma 1846) pp. 67-72]. [Gregorio Leti], Il Cardinalismo di Santa Chiesa Parte Terza (1668), 170-178.
Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi della storia de' Sommi Pontefici third edition Volume 7 (Roma 1822) pp. 61-64. Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Volume 15 (Venezia 1842) p. 286; Volume 21 (Venezia 1843), p. 241; Volume 31 (Venezia 1845) p. 164. A. F. Artaud de Montor, Histoire des souverains pontifes Romains Volume IV (Paris 1851), pp. 148-151. L. F. Bungener, History of the Council of Trent (New York: Harper 1855), 203-208. F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Second Volume (Paris 1864) 23-64. For the Imperial viewpoint see: Giuseppe de Leva, "La elezione di Papa Giulio III," Rivista storica italiana 1 (1884) 22-38. Giuseppe de Leva, Storia documentata di Carlo V in correlazione all' Italia Volume V (Bologna 1894) pp. 69-92. G. Constant, "Une rivalité Franco-Allemande en conclave: L' élection de Jules III," Revue hebdomadaire (18 février 1922) 333. F. J. Baumgartner, "Henry II and the Papal Conclave of 1549," Sixteenth Century Journal 16. 3 (1985) 301-314.
L. Dorez, La cour du Pape Paul III (Paris 1932).
Ludovico Beccadelli, "Vita del Cardinale Reginaldo Polo," Monumenti di varia letteratura tratti dai manoscritti di Monsignor Lodovico Beccadelli, Arcivescovo di Ragusa Tomo I parte II (Bologna 1799), pp. 277-333. Martin Haile, The Life of Reginald Pole (New York 1910) 356-364. W. C. Cartwright, On the Constitution of Papal Conclaves (Edinburgh 1878).
Gladys Dickinson, Du Bellay in Rome (Leiden: Brill 1960) [Though the book is about Joachim du Bellay, it contains information of interest].
Francois de l' Isle, La legende de Charles, Cardinal de Lorraine, et de ses frères, de la Maison de Guise (Reims: Jacques Martin, 1576). H. Paris, Études sur Charles, Cardinal de Lorraine (Reims: L. Jacquet 1845). J.-J. Guillemin, Le Cardinal de Lorraine, son influence politique et réligeuse au XVI siècle (Paris: Joubert 1847). Thomas Elkin Taylor, Charles, Second Cardinal of Lorraine (1525-1574): A Biography (dissertation: University of Virgina 1995).
John Paul Adams, CSUN