(April 10, 1585—April 24,1585

SS Peter and Paul




The two patron saints of the Roman church, Peter with a book and keys, Paul with a sword..

Arms of Card. Guastavillani


Arms of Filippo Card. Guastavillani, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (1584-1587), surmounted by the Ombrellone, crossed keys.

Berman, p. 114 #1304.

Stemma of Cardinal Filippo Guastavillani Born in Bologna in 1541, FILIPPO CARDINAL GUASTAVILLANI [Vastavillani] (1541-1587) was the son of Angelo Michele Guastavillani, a patrician of Bologna, and of Giacoma Boncompagni, whose brother became Pope Gregory XIII in 1572. Filippo was a senator of the city of Bologna from 1571 until 1576. His uncle made him a cardinal deacon on July 5, 1574, and he received the Deaconry of Santa Maria Nuova, which he exchanged for Santa Maria in Cosmedin in 1577, and that for Sant' Angelo in Pescheria in 1583, and finally Sant' Eustachio in 1587. He held various administrative posts in the Papal States, Spoleto (1578), Ancona (1578-1581; 1585), the Holy House of Loreto (1585-1587) . He became Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church on May 14, 1584, and held the office until his death on August 17, 1587.


Alessandro Cardinal Farnese, grandson of Pope Paul III, was the Bishop of Ostia and Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals at the time of the Interregnum.


The Hereditary Marshal of the Holy Roman Church and Protector of the Conclave was Don Bernardino Savelli (Francesco Cancellieri, Notizie storiche delle stagioni e di siti diversi in cui sono stati tenuti i conclavi . . . (Roma 1823), 19-20, from the conclave diary of Paolo Alaleona, Papal Master of Ceremonies).

The General of the Holy Roman Church was Don Giacomo Boncompagni, Duke of Soria

The Governor of Rome was Msgr. Sangiorgio; and the Governor of the Borgo, and thus Governor of the Conclave, was Ghislieri. Don Giacomo Boncompagni and the others took their oaths of loyalty on the afternoon of April 21. Other Guardians of the Conclave were the Ambassador of the King of France, and the two Ambassadors of Bologna.

Death of Gregory XIII

On Friday, April 5, the Pope was stricken by a slow fever and a bothersome pain in his throat.   For a patient of the age of eighty-three, any medical problem was a serious problem. On Sunday he said his usual private Mass.  On Monday morning, the 8th, he held a Consistory, in which he named a number of bishops; after lunch, he received the Spanish ambassador.  His officials who came to prepare for the Segnatura on the next day, noticed his weakness.  On Wednesday, April 10, he had a good meal with the Duke of Sora, fussing about maintaining the Lenten fast. He inquired after one of the Japanese ambassadors, who was ill.  He received the two cardinal nephews next.  They were talking about domestic matters, when it came to the time for the doctors to apply hot compresses to the Pope's legs, which was carried out by Michele Mercati  [Marini, Degli archiatri pontefici I, 452-461].  The doctor noted a cold sweat and a weak pulse.  He called his colleagues, and the Duke of Sora but they did not arrive in time. The two cardinal nephews were present, however, to see the Pope sit up in bed, raise his hands to heaven and make a large sign of the cross on his breast.  He fell back on the pillows.  He was unable to make his confession, or to take communion.  But he was able to receive Extreme Unction at the hands of the Penitentiary Major, Cardinal Filippo Boncompagni.  Cardinal Guastavillani, the Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, his other nephew, and the other chamberlains recited the appropriate prayers. The Pope himself recited some prayers and made his profession of faith.  At the end of the ceremony he died quietly [ Maffei II, 423-426;  Novaes 8, 90].

Pope Gregory XIII (Boncompagni) died on April 10. 1585, the Wednesday before Palm Sunday, at the age of 83. The novendiales began on April 11, but only lasted five days, due to the arrival of Holy Week, whose observances superceded in the liturgical calendar any other observances.   The Funeral Oration was preached by Msgr. Stefano Tucci, SJ, on Tuesday, April 16.


The Cardinals

During the reign of Gregory XIII (1572-1585), thirty-nine cardinals had died (Petramellari, 203). There were sixty living cardinals at the time of the Conclave of 1585 (list in Petramellari, 273-275).   Another list can be found in  G. van Gulik and Conrad Eubel  Hierarchia catholica  III  editio altera (Monasterii 1923), p. 48 n. 1.  He lists five cardinal bishops, thirty-one cardinal priests (though Cardinal Salviati was still a Cardinal Deacon), and six cardinal deacons (not including Salviati) —a total of forty-two; he also names eighteen absent.


Cardinals attending:

  1. Alessandro Farnese (aged 64), Suburbicarian Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Vice-Chancellor S.R.E. (died March 2, 1589) Grandson of Pope Paul III
  2. Giacomo Savelli (aged 62), Suburbicarian Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina, Sub-Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. (died December 5, 1587) Vicar of Rome and summus Inquisitor [Forcella, Catalogo dei manoscritti relativi alla storia di Roma I (Roma 1879), p. 96 no. 292].
  3. Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni (aged 66), Suburbicarian Bishop of Frascati. (died March 18, 1591)
  4. Alfonso Gesualdo (44), Suburbicarian Bishop of Albano (died February 14, 1603). Vice-Protector of Hungary.
  5. Giovanni Francesco Gambara (52), Suburbicarian Bishop of Palestrina (died May 5, 1587).

  6. Girolamo Simoncelli (aged 63), Cardinal Priest of   S. Prisca (died 1605) Administrator of Orvieto. "Sanseverino". Grand-nephew of Julius III
  7. Markus Sitticus von Hohenems (or Altemps) (aged 53), nephew of Pius IV, Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere (d. 1595), Bishop of Konstanz, Germany.
  8. Ludovico Madruzzo (aged 53), Cardinal Priest of S. Onofrio (d. 1600) Prince-Bishop of Trent.  Protector of Germany.  He was Papal Legate in Germany for the Imperial Diet in Augsburg in 1582.   In 1594 he was Legate at the Imperial Reichstag in Regensburg  [Nuntiaturberichte, 378-379; Laemmer, Analecta Romana, p. 31].
  9. Iñigo de Aragona (aged 50 or 51), Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (died 1600)
  10. Marc' Antonio Colonna (aged 62), Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in vinculis (died March 14, 1597)
  11. Tolomeo Galli (aged 57), Cardinal Priest of Sant' Agata in Suburra (d. 1607) "Como". Secretary of State of Pope Gregory XIII
  12. Prospero Santacroce (aged 70) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente (1583-1589).  His family's prosperity was severly damaged by the sack of Rome in 1527.   He was first noticed when he gave a public oration before the Emperor Charles V and Pope Clement VII at Bologna in 1533.  Doctor in utroque iure, Padua, where he studied with Tomasso Zanechini, professor of canon law [life by G.B. Adriano,  in Miscellanea di storia italiana V (Torino 1868) p. 487-489, and 575 n. 10-11].  He succeeded his cousin Pomponio as one of the Consistorial Advocates in 1537.  Auditor of the Rota (1542).  Appointed Nuncio to Henri II in France by Julius III  (1552-1554).  Appointed Nuncio to Philip II in Spain and Nuncio to Sebastian I in Portugal (1560-1561).  Nuncio in France to Charles IX (1561-1565).  Named a cardinal priest by Pius IV on March 12, 1565, on the recommendation of Catherine de Medicis and Charles IX  [Adriano, 574].    He died on November 8, 1589, and was buried in the Basilica Liberiana  [P. A. Galletti, Inscriptiones romanae infimae aetatis Romae existentes (Romae 1760) pp. ccxxi-ccxxii, nos. 60-61].
  13. Guido Luca Ferrero (aged 47); Son of Sebastiano, lord of Casavallone Villata and Ponzano; and Maddalena Borromeo, aunt of Cardinal Carlo Borromeo;  nephew of two cardinals, and grand-nephew of Pius IV. His elder brother Federico was Marchese di Romagnano.  His father's sister was married to Francesco of Savoy, Lord of Colegno.   Guido became a domestic prelate in 1559 at the age of 22, as well as Referendary of the two Signatures.   Bishop of Vercelli, March 12, 1562, at the age of 25; he attended the XXV Session of the Council of Trent (1563); his VIcar General, from 1567, was a distant cousin, Giovanni Enrico [Vittorio Angius, Sulle famiglie nobili della monarchia di Savoia II  (Torino 1847), p. 903; stemma on p. 724 and 725].   Bishop Ferrero resigned the See in 1572, in exchange for the Monastery of S. Silvestro di Nonantola, near Modena (1573-1582) .  Nuncio of Pius IV in Vienna (1564).  Abbot of S. Maria di Pinerolo (by 1582).  Abbot of S. Benigno.  Abbot of S. Pietro di Muleggio (by a bull of January 11, 1574).  Abbot of S. Giusto di Susa (1572) [Göttingische gelehrte Anzeiger 134 (1872) 65;  P. Caffaro, Notizie e documenti della chiesa pinerolese (Pinerolo 1893) 223].  Abbot of Chiusa (1560), on the nomination of the Duke of Savoy  [G. Avogadro di Valdengo, Storia della Abbazia di S. Michele della Chiusa, p. 85; G. Claretta, Storia diplomatica dell' antica Abbazia di S. Michele della Chiusa ((Torino 1870), 176-184].  Abbot of S. Michele in Gaviano, where he founded a seminario in 1571. Cardinal Deacon on March 12, 1565, by Pius IV, at the request of the Duke of Savoy and Cardinal Carlo Borromeo; Cardinal Priest of S. Eufemia (February 8—March 6, 1566); Cardinal Priest of [the Deaconry of] SS. Vito e Modesto (1566-1585),  Prior of Chamonix (1570-1585) [M. A. Perrin, Le prieurè de Chamonix IV (Chambéry 1883), p. 385].  Abbot of S. Stefano d'Ivrea (1575-1576).
           In 1572, Cardinal Guido published the Conciliar and diocesan decrees for the Diocese of Vercelli; these included some of the most important Tridentine decrees. In 1576, he held a diocesan synod.   In 1581, Gregory XIII made him Legate in Ravenna and the Marches.  He owned the Villa Ruffinella in Frascati from 1578-1585 [Rodolfo Lanciani, Storia degli scavi di Roma III (Roma 1907), pp. 46-47].  He made his Will in the Castello of Gaviano in November, 1584.  He died in Rome on May 16, 1585, and was buried in the Liberian Basilica  [V. Forcella, Inscrizioni delle chiese di Roma XI, p. 46, no. 89].   The best discussion of his career is in Vittorio Angius, Sulle famiglie nobili della monarchia di Savoia II (Torino 1847), pp. 774-803.  "Vercellensis"
  14. Guglielmo Sirleto (aged 70), Cardinal Priest of San Lorenzo in Pansiperna.   Bibliothecarius of the Holy Roman Church (Vatican Librarian).  He died on October 6, 1585, at the age of 71, and was buried in S. Lorenzo [Oreste Raggi, Monumenti sepolcrali eretti in Roma agli uomini celebri  I (Roma 1841) pp. 314-317].
  15. Gabriele Paleotti (aged 63), Cardinal Priest of San Martino ai Monti.   Doctor in utroque iure (Bologna, 1546).  Professor of Law at the University of Bologna. Canon of the Cathedral of Bologna. Refused the Bishoprics of Majorca, Ragusa, and Avignon, as well as the Vice-Legateship of Avignon.  Auditor of the Rota.  Sent by Paul IV to the Council of Trent.  Appointed Bishop of Bologna by Pius V in 1566, and given the pallium of an Archbishop by Gregory XIII in 1582.  Prefect of the Congregation of the Index  (d. in Rome on July 20, 1597).
  16. Michele Bonelli, OP, (aged 44), Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, grand nephew and Nipote of Pius V, (d. 1598) "Alessandrino"
  17. Antonio Carafa (aged 47), Cardinal Priest of S. Giovanni e Paolo (died January 31, 1591) .
  18. Giulio Antonio Santorio (or Santori). Cardinal Priest of San Bartolomeo all' Isola (died May 9, 1602)  "Sanseverina"
  19. Pier Donato Cesi (aged 64).Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia (died September 29, 1586).  His conclavist was the future Cardinal Domenico Toschi.
  20. Charles d'Angennes de Rambouillet (aged 54), Cardinal Priest of Santa Eufemia (died March 23, 1587) Bishop of Le Mans
  21. Felice Peretti Montalto, OFM.Conv. (aged 63), Cardinal Priest of San Girolamo degli Schiavoni (died August 27, 1590) Pope Sixtus V
  22. Girolamo Rusticucci (aged 48), Cardinal Priest of S. Susanna, former Bishop of Sinigaglia (1570-1577). Protonotary Apostolic. Private Secretary of Pius V. Secretary of State 1566-1570. Created cardinal in 1570.  Secretary of State of Sixtus V (1585-1590) [Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione historico-ecclesiastica 63 (Venice 1853), 280].  He was a member of the SC of the Council of Trent under Sixtus V  [Tempesti, Storia della vita di Sisto V  I, p. 373].  Created Vicar of Rome by Sixtus V in 1588 (1588-1603), in succession to Cardinal Bonelli.  First Protector of the Congregation of the Hospitallers of S. John of God (died on June 14, 1603, and buried in S. Susanna  [V. Forcella, Inscrizioni delle chiese di Roma IX, p. 534, no. 1042].
  23. Nicolas de Pellevé (aged 70),   son of Charles de Pellevé, Sieur de Jouy de Rebets  and Hélène du Fay. His brother Robert was Bishop of Pamiers (1553-1579).  Cardinal Priest of S. Prassede (1584-1594).  Doctor of Laws (Bourges). Councillor of Parliament. Master of Requests. Abbot of S. Cornelius Compendiensis (in the diocese of Soissons) (1550-June,1552) [Gallia christiana IX, 441].   Named  Bishop of Amiens by Henri II (1553-1564) [Gallia christiana X (Paris 1751), 1207]. He participated in the Estates General in Paris in January, 1557.  He was sent to Scotland in 1559, as Nuncio of Paul IV, to deal with the Calvinist heretics. He accompanied the Cardinal of Lorraine to the Council of Trent (1562). Archbishop of Sens (1562-1591) [Gallia christiana XII , 95].  He was named cardinal by Pius V on May 17, 1570, but did not receive the titulus of SS. John and Paul until July 4, 1572, from the new pope, Gregory XIII.  He was named Protector of Scotland and Ireland.  He remained at the Papal Court until 1592.  Henri III tried to get him to return to France in 1586, by sequestering his benefices, but the Pope intervened.  Prefect of the SC of Bishops.    An active member of the French "League" against Henri III and Henri IV at the Papal Court.   Later Archbishop of Reims (1591-1594).  In January-August, 1593, he was President of the Estates General (États de la Ligue) summoned to elect a King of France   [Mémoires de la Ligue nouvelle édition  V (Amsterdam 1758), 327].    (died March 24, 1594)
  24. Gian Girolamo Albani (aged 81), Cardinal Priest of San Giovanni a Porta Latina.    (died April 15, 1591).
  25. Filippo Boncompagni (aged 36), Cardinal Priest of San Sisto (died June 9, 1586) Penitentiary Major,  Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica (1581-1586).
  26. Alessandro Riario Sforza (aged 41) [Bologna], son of Giulio Marchese di Castelletto, and Lisabetta Peppoli, daughter of the Count of Castiglione.  His brother Ottaviano was Prince of Forlì.  Gregory XIII created him a cardinal in his fifth creation on February 21, 1578, and named him Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Ara Coeli on March 3, 1578.   Under Pius V he was appointed, Referendary, Protonotary Apostolic,  Camerarius, Auditor of the Apostolic Camera, Curiae Romanae Iudex Ordinarius,  Iudex Executor [Ecloge Bullarium et Motupropriorum (Lugdunum: Carolum Pesnot 1582),  p. 166]; Patriarch of Alexandria (1570-1585). Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica (1572-1581). In 1580, he was sent to Spain to explore the issue of the annexation of Portugal.  He crowned Philip II  King of Portugal on April 17, 1581.   Legate of Perugia and Umbria.  Prefect of the Segnatura.  He died on July 18, 1585, at the age of 42, and was buried in the Basilica XII Apostolorum. [V. Forcella, Inscrizioni delle chiese di Roma II, p. 245, no. 740].
  27. Pedro de Deza (aged 65), Cardinal Priest of Santa Prisca (died August 27, 1600).
  28. Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti (aged 65) [Bologna].  Vicar and Administrator of Avignon for Card. Antonio Barberini.   Bishop of Nicastro (July 6, 1559-1575). He participated in the Council of Trent (1562-1563).  Nuncio in Venice (1566-1572).   Titular Latin Patriarch of Jersualem (1576-1583); named a cardinal by Gregory XIII on December 12, 1583.  Cardinal Priest of SS. Quattro Coronati (1584-1591). (died December 30, 1591).
  29. Giambattista Castagna (aged 63), Cardinal Priest of San Marcello. Protector of the Order of Preachers.  (died September 27, 1590) Legate in Bologna.
  30. Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici (aged 49), Cardinal Priest of SS Quirico e Giulitta (died 1605) "Cardinal of Florence" Fiorenza, Archbishop of Florence.
  31. Giulio Canani (aged 61), Cardinal Priest of San Eusebio (d. 1592) Bishop of Adria; Doctor in utroque iure, Ferrara.
  32. Niccolò Sfondrati (aged 50), Cardinal Priest of S. Cecilia    Bishop of Cremona (1560-1590).  (died October 16, 1591)
  33. Filippo Spinola (aged 49), son of Agostino Spinola [Genuensis].  His brother was the Emperor's pincerna (cupbearer-winetaster). Created Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabina (1584-1593) by Gregory XIII on December 12, 1583.  Referendary of both Signaturae.  Bishop of Bisignano (1566-1569).  Bishop of Nola (1569-1584), at the request of Emperor Rudolph II.  Sixtus V made him Legate of Perugia, the Duchy of Spoleto and Umbria.  (died August 20, 1593)
  34. Matthieu Cointerel (aged 66), Cardinal Priest of San Stefano al Monte Celio (San Stefano Rotondo) (died November 29, 1585)
  35. Scipione Lancellotti (aged 58) [Romanus], Created cardinal on December 12, 1583, by Gregory XIII, and named Cardinal Priest of S. Simeone Profeta on January 9, 1584.    Doctor in utroque iure (Bologna) at the age of 18, a student of the future Cardinal Gabriele Paleotto.  Consistorial Advocate. Auditor of the Rota.  Advocate of the Council of Trent (1562). Nuncio of Pius V to the German Diet at Augst for the Election of the Emperor.  Sent as Nuncio to France by Gregory XIII (1572-1585), to work with Cardinal Flavio Orsini the Legate a latere to King Charles IX (1560-1574).  Secretary of Briefs (1585).   He died in Rome on June 2,1598, and was buried in the Lateran Basilica.

  36. Ferdinando de' Medici (aged 35), Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Domnica, Legate in Perugia (died February 22, 1609) Grand Duke of Tuscany 1587-1609, resigned the cardinalate in 1588.
  37. Luigi (Ludovico) d' Este (aged 47), son of Ercole II, Duke of Ferrara, and Renée, daughter of Louis XII of France; nephew of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este. Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata (December 19, 1583; died December 30, 1586) Administrator of Auch, France (1563-1586), appointed through the patronage of Henri II. Protector of France [Gallia christiana 1 , 1004].
  38. Filippo Guastavillani (aged 44), nephew of Pope Gregory XIII.  Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria (died August 17, 1587) Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
  39. Andreas von Austria (aged 26) Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria Nova (died 1621) nephew of Emperor Charles V and also of Emperor Ferdinand I, Bishop of Brixen (arrived on April 23).
  40. Giovanni Vincenzo Gonzaga, O.Hosp.S.Joh.Hieros.(aged 44), Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin (died December 23, 1591)
  41. Antonmaria Salviati (aged 48), Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Aquiro (January 9, 1584–April 27, 1587)   (died 1602) .
  42. Francesco Sforza di Santa Fiora (aged 22) [Born at Parma, on November 6, 1562];  his father was Conte di Santa Fiore; his mother Catharina was a relative of Pope Julius III. Grand-nephew of Pope Paul III.  Nephew of Cardinal Guido Ascanio Sforza.  Cardinal Deacon of San Giorgio in Velabro (1584-1585);  then Cardinal Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere (July 29, 1585-1588).  Before being created cardinal, he was a courtier of Francesco I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and married the Grand Duke's sister. He had then fought in the Netherlands with his uncle, Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma.  Canon of S. Niccolo in Carcere.  Sixtus V appointed him Legate in the Romagna.   (died 1624)

Cardinals not attending:

  1. Niccolò Caetani de Sermoneta (aged 59), Cardinal Priest of San Eustachio (died May 1, 1585) Archbishop of Capua.
  2. Georges d'Armagnac (aged 84 or 85), Cardinal Priest of S. Nicola in Carcere Tulliano (died July 10, 1585) Administrator of the Archdiocese of Toulouse, Co-Legate in Avignon
  3. Charles II de Bourbon-Vandôme (aged 61), Cardinal Priest of San Crisogono (died May 9, 1590) Archbishop of Rouen
  4. Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle (aged 67), Suburbicarian Bishop of Sabina, Archbishop of Besançon (died September 21, 1586)
  5. Albrecht von Austria (aged 29), Cardinal Deacon (of S. Croce in Gerusalemme), son of Emperor Maximilian II (died 1621) Viceroy of Portugal 1585-1595 [Maffei II, 395-396].
  6. Louis de Lorraine de Guise (aged 29), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died December 24, 1588)) Archbishop of Reims
  7. Charles de Lorraine de Vaudémont (aged 23), Cardinal Deacon without deaconry (died Octob er 30, 1587) Administrator of Toul, and Bishop of Verdun
  8. Gaspar Quiroga y Vela (aged 73), Cardinal Priest of Santa Balbina (died November 12, 1594) Archbishop of Toledo
  9. Rodrigo de Castro Osorio de Lemos (aged 62), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died September 18, 1600) Archbishop of Seville
  10. François de Joyeuse (aged 22), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died 1615) Archbishop of Narbonne
  11. Michele della Torre (aged 74), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died February 21, 1586) Bishop of Ceneda. "Utinensis"
  12. Agostino Valeri (or Valier) (aged 54), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died May 23, 1606) Bishop of Verona.
  13. Vincenzo Laureo (aged 62),  Bishop of Mondovi. Nuncio in Poland (1573-1578). Nuncio to the Duke of Savoy.   Created cardinal on December 12, 1583, by Gregory XIII.  Cardinal Priest without titulus. After the Conclave, on May 24, he was appointed Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Via.  (died December 17, 1592)
  14. Alberto Bolognetti (aged 46) [Bononiensis], son of Senator Francesco Bolognetti and Lucrezia Fantuzzi.   A student of Gabriele Paleotto at Bologna.  Doctor in utroque iure (Bologna, May 23, 1562). Lectured at Bologna (1562-1565). Professor at Salerno. Protonotary Apostolic (1576) [F. Calori Cesis, Il cardinale Alberto Bolognetti (Modena 1861), 4].  Nuncio to the Grand Duke of Tuscany (1576-1578).   Bishop of Massa marittima (1579-1585), but dispensed from the obligation to reside in his diocese.  Nuncio in Venice (1578-1581). Nuncio in Poland to King Stefan I Bathory (1581-1585).  He was named a Cardinal Priest by Gregory XIII on December 12, 1583, while he was still in Poland. He died on May 9, 1585, at Villach in Carinthia, on his way to Rome from Poland, and was interred in Bologna in the Church of S. Maria dei Servi. [His memorial inscription makes it clear that he was returning from Poland: INDE ROMAM AD NOVUM ELIGENDUM PONTIFICEM CONTENDENS FEBRI IN ITINERE CORREPTUS:  S. Galli da Modigliana and O. Comparini, Memorie storiche di Massa Maritima  II (Massa Maritima 1873) 304 n. 3; Cesis, 39].
  15. Jerzy Radzvil (Radziwill) (aged 28)  of the Dukes of Olika (Lithuania).   Named a Cardinal Priest on December 12, 1583, by Gregory XIII, but was not named Cardinal Priest of S. Sisto until July 14, 1586 (1586-1600).  Born a Calvinist, and orphan at twelve, educated at Leipzig. Converted to Catholicism in 1572.  Studied at Jesuit institutions in Poznan, Vilnius (Wilna), and Rome.  Travelled to Rome in 1575, and with the consent of King Stefan Bathory, was named Coadjutor of Wilna (by 1576, when he was in Rome), but with the proviso insisted upon by Pope Gregory XIII that he complete his studies in Rome.  During this time he made a pilgrimage to S. James at Compostela.   Bishop of Wilna (1579-1591).  He was made Viceroy of Livonia by King Sefan (1582). He was not ordained a priest, however, until April 10, 1583, and was not consecrated a bishop until December 26, 1583.  Bishop of Krakow (August 15, 1591-January 21, 1600). He was also named Legatus a latere to King Sigismund of Poland (1587-1632)  and to the Emperor Rudolf II (1576-1612).  Having arrived in Rome early in January, 1600, with the intention of taking part in the Jubilee, he died in Rome on January 21, 1600, and was buried in the Gesù [V. Forcella, Inscrizione delle chiese di Roma X, p. 463, no. 746].
  16. Simeone Tagliavia d'Aragona (aged 34) [born in the Castle of Veziano, in the diocese of Mazzara in Sicily], son of Carlos, Duke of Terranova, Prince of Vetrana, and Margarita Ventimiglia; nephew of Cardinal Pietro Tagliavia.  Taken to Spain as a child, studied at the Complutense; laureate in philosophy and theology. His father was Spanish ambassador to the Diet of Cologne, and spent nine years ruling Sicily in the name of the Emperor Charles V; he also ruled various province in Spain and the Netherlands for Philip II. Simeone was named a cardinal by Gregory XIII at the age of 33. Cardinal Priest without titulus. He was given S. Maria Angelorum in Thermis on May 20, 1585 [Eubel III, p. 65].  He was prefect of the SC of Bishops and Regulars. (died May 20, 1604).
  17. Charles III de Bourbon de Vendôme (aged 23), Cardinal Deacon without deaconry (died May 9, 1590) Coadjutor Archbishop of Rouen
  18. András Báthory (aged 19), nephew of Stephen Báthory, King of Poland. Cardinal Deacon of San Adriano al Foro (1584-1587) (died October 28, 1599) Bishop of Warmia (Ermland, in Prussia) (1584-1599).  He was entrusted with the governorship of Transylvania, in the face of the Turkish onslaught, but, due to the treachery of Vaivod Michael of Wallachia, the territory passed under the control of Austria, and he lost his governorship.  During a battle against the Voivod, he was in retreat, fell of his horse, and died of his injuries, on October 28, 1599.


Opening of the Conclave. Factions

The conclave began in the Vatican on April 21, Easter Sunday. At the opening ceremonies, out of sixty living cardinals thirty-two cardinals were in attendance, according to Paolo Alaleone, the Master of Ceremonies (Gattico, p. 338; Novaes 8, 103, says forty-two). The oration de pontifice eligendo was pronounced by Msgr. Marcantonio Mureto. Two factions, led by the Cardinals Ferdinando de' Medici and Ludovico d' Este (grandson of King Louis XII of France and Protector of France before the Holy See), were struggling for control and willing to combine to make a pope, if only they could agree on a common candidate.

On Monday, April 22, the Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Farnese, the Cardinal Dean, and all of the Cardinals received Holy Communion. After Mass, the Bulls of Julius II, Pius V and Gregory XIII were read and the Cardinals swore to observe them. In mid-afternoon all of the Conclavists were summoned to the Capella Paolina. The senior cardinal of each order (Farnese, Simoncelli, and Medici) and the Chamberlain (Guastavillani) presided. As each person's name was called by Msgr. Alaleone, one by one they were permitted to leave the chapel, thus making sure that no unauthorized persons were present.


Early Maneuvers

In the morning of Tuesday, April 23, the Cardinals unanimously voted to give the Masters of Ceremonies four scudi for each cardinal every month during the Sede Vacante, as their regalia for participation in the Conclave.

Cardinal Andreas of Austria also arrived on April 23, and presented the Conclave officials with a document signed by Gregory XIII, which granted him the privilege of electing the pope even if he had not been ordained Deacon. The Brief was read to the Cardinals, who assembled in the Capella Paolina. The document was authenticated and registered by the Secretary of the Conclave on the instruction of the Cardinals. All the Cardinals then went to the Entrance to the Conclave to welcome the Austrian Cardinal, but before he entered Cardinal de' Medici also presented a Brief of Pope Pius IV which had been confirmed by Pius V, granting him the same right of participating in Conclave even though he was not at least a Deacon. This was also read aloud by the Secretary, Silvio, and registered. Cardinal Sforza also presented a document testifying that he had been ordained to the Diaconate, and that too was registered (Gattico, pp. 338-339).

On the 23nd of April, it appeared that Cardinals Pier Donato Cesi and Guglielmo Sirleto were favored by the vote, though by the next morning they were abandoned, having been the subject of much maneuvering by the faction leaders. Wanting to avoid the potential influence of cardinals who had not yet arrived, Medici then proposed two names to D' Este, those of Cardinals Albani and Montalto, and invited him to choose. D' Este imposed conditions, however, and the projected deal, when news got out, caused much indignation. Through a series of misdirections and strategems, Medici convinced the cardinals that Montalto was NOT his candidate, though Cardinal Altemps (Markus Sittich von Hohenems, cousin of Carlo Borromeo and nephew of Pius IV) guessed that he was, which Medici confirmed. Altemps, who was a leader of a group of cardinals who had been created by his uncle, was brought into Medici's circle.


The Influence of Cardinal Madruccio

Card. Michele Bonelli,  medalOn the evening of the 23rd, Ludovico Cardinal Madruzzo (Madruccio), who was the designated leader of the Spanish faction, arrived in Rome and had conversations with the Spanish and Imperial ambassadors before he entered conclave.

On Wednesday, the 24th of April, before daylight, Medici had explained to Montalto all that had been done on the previous day in favor of his candidacy, and advised him as to how affairs should be conducted. D'Este met with Farnese—who believed that Montalto had no voting strength—and managed to further misdirect him. During a meeting in the Pauline Chapel, d' Este recruited Guastavillani, the Cardinal Camerlengo; Giambattista Castagna, the Cardinal of San Marcello; and Francesco Sforza.

According to Paolo Alaleone, the Master of Ceremonies, Cardinal Madruzzo was admitted to the Conclave on April 24 along with Cardinal Ferrero. Alaleone noticed that while the two cardinals were in the Chapel and the Bulls governing the Conclave were being read by them, after which they took the required oaths, two other Cardinals, Bonelli and Boncompagni had left the Chapel.

Meeting immediately with Cardinal d' Este, Madruzzo learned of d' Este's dislike of his own favorite, Sirleto. With Sirleto blocked and considering that a completely pro-Spanish pope would be as unpalatable as a completely pro-French one, Madruzzo therefore declared himself to d'Este to be against Cardinal Albani, and thus in favor of Montalto. Altemps, Medici and Gesualdo then put pressure on Madruccio as well, and he was won over. As leader of the Spanish interest, Madruccio brought his own influence to bear on Andrew of Austria, Colonna, Deza (Seza), Gonzaga, Sfondrati and Spinola. With all of these adherents, Medici and d'Este still needed four votes. These could only be had in the group of Gregory XIII's cardinals organized by Alessandro Farnese, the Dean of the College of Cardinals.

Before the scrutiny began, Cardinals Bonelli [medal above, at left] and Boncompagni, who were having conversations with those cardinals who were outside the Chapel, returned and announced to Cardinal Montalto (Peretti) that they were making him pope. Boncompagni, Cardinal Priest of S. Sisto, asked Montalto to choose the name of Sixtus. This activity was noticed by the rest of the Cardinals, but at that point the announcement was made that all should return to their places.




When the cardinals finally assembled in the Paoline Chapel, d' Este declared that it was not necessary to proceed to a ballot, since it was obvious who the new pope was. Without opposition the cardinals proceeded to do hommage ('adoration') to Felice Cardinal Peretti, OFM, "Cardinal Montalto," though, immediately afterwards, a vote was conducted by asking each cardinal to cast his vote aloud. The vote was unanimous. While he was still in his place, Montalto signed and swore to the Electoral Capitulations and made his formal acceptance of his election. The new pope retired to the Sacristy to revest himself in the papal garments, and he was then led to the papal throne by Cardinals De Medici and Guastavillani.

Cardinal François de Joyeuse arrived in Rome too late to participate in the Conclave.

The coronation of Sixtus V took place on May 1. As senior cardinal deacon Cardinal de' Medici placed the tiara on his head. On May 5, Sixtus took possession of the Lateran.


Procession of Sixtus V to the Lateran, 1585
Procession of Sixtus V to the Lateran for the Possessio (Fresco in the Vatican Library)



Portrait of Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici, seated at a table
Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici
(Grand Duke Ferdinando I)






S[tephanus] Tuccius, Oratio in exequiis Gregorii XIII p.m. habita in Vaticano XV kal. maii 1585  (Lutetiae Parisiorum: apud F. Morellum 1585).  Marco Antonio Mureto [Marc-Antoine Muret],  M. Antonii Mureti oratio habita ad Illustrissimos et Reverendissimos S.R.E. Cardinales ipso die Paschae, cum subrogandi Pontificis causa conclave ingressuri essent anno MDLXXXV. (Romae: Apud Franciscum Zanettum 1585).


For the Conclave of 1585, see Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi della storia de' sommi pontefici da San Pietro sino al ... Pio Papa VII   third edition, Volume 8 (Roma 1822) 103-106. L. Ranke, The Ecclesiastical and Political History of the Popes of Rome during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Volume I (tr. S. Austin) (Philadelphia 1841); Giovanni Leti, Vita di Sisto Quinto, pontefice romano Volume II (Torino 1852) 40-86;  Baron Joseph Alexandre Hübner, The Life and Times of Sixtus V Volume I (tr. H.E.H. Jerningham) (London 1872), pp. 187-205; id., Sixte-Quint nouvelle édition (Paris 1882) Vol. II, pp. 435-443 (a letter of April 24, 1585, from Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici to Grand Duke Francesco de' Medici).


Giovanii Antonio Petramellari, Ad librum Onuphrii Panvinii de summis pontif. et S. R. E. Cardinalibus a Paulo IV ad Clementis Octavi Annum Pontificatus Octavum Continuatio (Bononiae: Apud heredes Ioannis Rosij, MDIC). Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo Quarto (Roma 1793).


Joannes Baptista Gattico, Acta Selecta Caeremonialia Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae ex variis mss. codicibus et diariis saeculi xv. xvi. xvii. Tomus I (Romae 1753).


Nuntiaturberichte aus Deutschland nebst ergänzenden Actenstücken.  Dritte Abtheilung (1572-1585)  (Berlin: Bath 1894).



Giampietro Maffei, SJ,  Degli annali di Gregorio XIII. Pontefice Massimo  Tomo secondo (Roma: Girolamo Mainardi 1742).


Alexandre de Hübner, Sixte-Quint  nouvelle edition Tome I (Paris: Hachette, 1882).


Augustinus Brunus, "Vita Gabrielis Palaeoti S. R. E. Cardinalis, Episcopi Sabinensis, archiepiscopi Bononiensis," E. Martène-U. Durand, Veterorum scriptorum et monumentorum...amplissima collectio Tomus VI (Paris 1729), 1385-1438. Paolo Prodi, Il cardinale Gabriele Paleotti (1522-1597) 2 volumes (Roma: edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1959, 1967).


P. O. von Törne, Ptolémée Gallio, Cardinal de Côme  (Paris: Alphonse Picard, 1907).   G. B. Adriani, "Della vita e delle varie Nunziature del Cardinale Prospero Santa Croce," Miscellanea di storia Italiana V. (Torino 1868) 477-1173 (993-1033).


G. Cugnoni, "Autobiografia di monsignor G. Antonio Santori, cardinale di S. Severina,"  Archivio della societa Romana di storia patria 12 (1889), 327-372; 13 (1890), 151-294 [pp. 163-165].


D. M. Valensise,  Il Vescovo di Nicastro poi Papa Innocenzo IX e la Lega contro il Turco.  Cenni biografici e lettere inedite  (Nicastro 1898).


The Ceremoniale which was in effect at the Conclave of 1585, published at Venice in 1582, is reprinted in Iohannes Gerhardus Meuschen (editor), Caeremonialia Electionis et Coronationis Pontificis Romani et Caeremoniale Episcoporum (Francorurti: ex officina B. Joh. Max. a Sande.  MDCCXXXII), pp. 135-192.




March 18, 2016 3:45 PM

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