Born in Rome in 1571, PIETRO CARD. ALDOBRANDINI, the son of Pietro Aldobrandini and of Flaminia Ferracci, was nephew of Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605). He obtained a doctorate in Civil and Canon Law, and was named Protonotary Apostolic. He was created a cardinal deacon in 1593, and along with his cousin Cardinal Cincio took over the affairs of the papal government. On December 20, 1599 he was appointed Cardinal Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church for life. He acted as Legate for the Pope to Henri IV of France, first to regularize his situation with the Church, and then to finalize the marriage of the king with Catherine de' Medici (1600-1601). He became Archbishop of Ravenna in 1604, and in 1620 was promoted Bishop of the Suburbicarian See of Sabina. He died on the day after the conclusion of the Conclave of 1621.
The Secretary of the College of Cardinals was Muzio Riccerio
The Marshal of the Conclave was Paolo Savelli, Prince of Albano, Duke of Castel Gandolfo [Moroni, Dizionario storico-ecclesiastica 42, 283; 61, 301].
The Governor of the Conclave was Msgr. Orazio Spinola, Archbishop of Genoa (d. 1616). He was made a referendary by Sixtus V, Vice-Legate of Bologna by Clement VIII. After the Conclave Paul V made him Vice-Legate of Ferrara. He was named a cardinal by Pope Paul V in 1606, with the title of St.Biagio
The Governor of the City of Rome was Msgr. Benedictus Ala of Cremona, Referendary of the Tribunal of the Two Signatures [Cancellieri, Storia de' solenni possessi, p. 173]. He later became Bishop of Urbino (1610-1620).
The Captain General was Don Giovanni Giorgio Aldobrandini.
The Papal Master of Ceremonies was Msgr. Paolo Alaleone, who left a diary of the proceedings [Vincenzo Forcella, Catalogo dei manoscritti relativi alla storia di Roma I (Roma 1879), p. 291 no. 828 (ms. Vat. Lat. 9246)]. He was assisted by Msgr. Guido Ascanio Praevostus, and by Msgr. Giovanni Paolo Mucanzio, who also left a diary covering the period from Gregory XIV to Paul V [Gauchat, 8 n. 1; Gattico, pp. 343-348; Bullarium Romanum (Turin edition) Volume XI, p. 212; V. Forcella Catalogo dei manoscritti relativi alla storia di Roma I (Roma 1879), p. 44, no. 156].
The Venetian Ambassador was Agostino Nani. The French Ambassador was Philippe de Béthune, brother of Sully. The Spanish Ambassador was the Marquis de Villena. The Tuscan ambassador was Cavaliere Belisario Vinta.
Pope Leo XI (de' Medici) ruled for only twenty-seven days, April 1 to April 27, 1605. He had caught a chill while taking possession of his cathedral, the Lateran Basilica, on April 17. A fever appeared on the evening of the 18th, which was at first regarded as transitory. But it grew worse, and he died ten days later, on Wednesday April 27. Muratori reports a story, which he attributes to Cardinal Jacques Davy du Perron and to Giovanni Nicolò Doglioni, that Pope Leo was poisoned by a rose given him in the Lateran Basilica [Annali d'Italia 26 (Firenze 1827) sub anno 1605, p. 56]. In the "Life of Cardinal de Joyeuse", Antoine Aubery says [L' histoire du Cardinal duc de Joyeuse (1664), p. 95]:
Il ne suffisoit pas aux Espagnols de s'estre opposez ouvertement à l' élection de Leon XI. tandis qu'elle estoit à faire, s'ils ne la combattoient encore secrettement aprés qu'elle fut faite, et n'ayant sceu empescher avec tous leurs efforts qu'il ne fût Pape, ils resolurent d' empécher par leurs menées qu'il ne le fust pas long-temps, et luy abregerent effectivement le Pontificat avec la vie: au moins, s'il faut adjoûter foy aux menaces de leurs gens mesmes. Lesquels s'estans vantez qu'ils s'en déferoient au plûtost par poison, le Cardinal de Ioyeuse, comme s'il eût eu interest particulier de conserver celuy qui estoit aucunement son ouvrage, ne manqua pas d'en faire donner advis à sa Sainteté. Quoy qu'il en soit, la mort precipitée de ce Pape donna incontinent lieu à un second Conclave, et fut par consequent un nouveau sujet de fatigue à nostre Cardinal.
Doglioni himself actually says [Del Compendio historico, Parte nona (Venice 1622), sub anno 1605, p. 14]:
...ma non anto furono scorsi 26. giorni dal dì della creation sua, che assalito da febre ardente con la morte pose fine al Pontificato. Furono alcuni, che credevano, et sparsero fama, che egli fosse col veleno stato levato dal mondo; ma essendo aperto, et ben da Medici considerate le sue interiora si scoprì, che veramente egli per morte naturale era arrivato a quel punto.
The last hours of Leo XI are recorded in a ms. in the Borghese Library, Liber 720, folia 95-96 [quoted by Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 8, n.4]:
Vespere diei 18 Spr. Sum. Pont. nimia gravedine oppressus, levi febricula laborare coepit, quae ab initio non laethalis, sed ephimera iudicata fuit. Tamen in lectulo iacens, S. S. laboravit sub incerta spe salutis decem dies et tandem 27 Aprilis, omnibus Ecclesiae sacramentis receptis, parum ante horam duodecimam placide et pacifice animam Deo reddidit.
He had lived 68 years, ten months and 25 days. He was buried in the Basilica of S. Peter on Saturday, April 30, 1605. The Funeral Oration was pronounced by Pompeo Ugoni [Novaes, Intruduzione I, p. 263]. The Novendiales concluded with a Requiem Mass on Friday, May 6, 1605.
The news of the death of the Pope reached the French Court and King Henri IV on May 5, 1605 [Champollion, Mémoires et registre-journal de Henri IV, 384]. The King was informed that the Pope had died of pleurisy [Letter of Cardinal du Perron to Henri IV, written on the day of the Pope's death, April 27: Les ambassades et negotiations de l' Illustrissime et Reverendissime Cardinal du Perron (1633), p. 573; Letter of Henri IV to Ambassador de Beaumont, May 8, 1605: Recueil des lettres missives de Henri IV Tome VI, p. 423].
An official list of the Cardinals and their Conclavists is attached to the Bull Romanum decet pontificem, issued by Pope Paul V on July 31, 1605 [Bullarium Romanum 11 (Augusta Taurinorum 1867), pp. 212-215]. Cardinal Girolamo Agucci [Bononiensis], a supporter of Cardinal Aldobrandini, died on the same day as the Pope; his conclavists from the earlier conclave of 1605 are included in the grant [p. 215]. Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 9, n.2: In conclavi erant 61 cardinales [simul cum electo]....
The cardinals were those of the March conclave, with the exception of Cardinal Agucci of Bologna (who had died on April 27), since Leo XI had created no new cardinals. Of the sixty-seven cardinals, sixty-two participated in the final election. After the previous conclave the alliances which had been made began to fall apart. The French and the Grand Duke of Tuscany had succeeded, and the Spanish had been defeated. The hostilities and disappointments of these important people had not had time to dissipate.
There were, nonetheless, two active would-be leaders as the second Conclave of 1605 approached, Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini (nephew of Clement VIII) and Cardinal Andrea Peretti Montalto (grand-nephew of Sixtus V). Aldobrandini's faction, which had been an alliance of disparate interests, had continual problems with staying united. It is true that he was still the nominal leader of the faction of cardinals created by his uncle, 'the newer cardinals', and he nominally presided over perhaps twenty-six votes, but the ambitions of several of those cardinals diminished the control he had over their votes. Montalto (though he himself was only 33 years old) was nominal leader of the twenty-three 'older cardinals', but that leadership in itself did not carry much real support, since there was no unity in the elders. In the earlier conclave he had also represented the interests of the King of Spain [Histoire des Conclaves 3rd ed., p. 275].
One of the big problems of the second Conclave of 1605 was the large number of would-be candidates. Cardinal Montalto had five members of his faction who were considered 'papabili': Domenico Pinelli (Bishop of Porto), Girolamo Bernerio (Bishop of Albano), Antonio Sauli (the Cardinal Protopriest), Innocenzo del Bufalo (Camerino) and Gregorio Petrocchini del Montelparo (all 'elder cardinals'); nominally he might be able to muster some twenty-one votes. Cardinal Montalto himself, however, had been showing an interest for Cardinal Camillo Borghese. Cardinal Aldobrandini's faction now included some ten cardinals who were 'papabili': Cesare Baronius, Lorenzo Bianchetti, Ottavio d'Aquaviva d'Aragona, Girolamo Pamphili, Roberto Bellarmin, Domenico Ginnasi, Paolo Emilio Zacchia (San Marcello), Domenico Toschi, Giovanni Francesco Blandrate di San Giorgio (San Clemente), and Camillo Borghese—though when it came to promoting a candidate for the papacy, Aldobrandini was not keen on any of the first five, least of all Cesare Baronius, whose reputation for severity was off-putting [Histoire des conclaves 3rd ed. I, p. 312-313]. Aldobrandini had apparently drawn some conclusions from his uncle's fervent persecution of heretics. Clement VIII (Aldobrandini) had presided over the execution of some thirty Roman heretics, the latest and most famous being Giordano Bruno, OP (1600). Aldobrandini's partiality for Zacchia (San Marcello), however, was the subject of an unpleasant conversation between him and the Imperial Ambassador [Petruccelli, 460].
The five Spanish cardinals, for their part, were not in a position to make a pope. Their strategy, therefore, was to exclude if possible the most undesirable candidates. These included, from their perspective, Cardinals Innocenzo del Bufalo (Camerino), Cesare Baronio, Séraphin Olivier Razali, and Agostino Valier. They were also unfriendly toward the prospects of Palotta and Ginnasi. And the Marquis de Villena had a personal hatred of Aldobrandini because of his conduct in the March conclave, as far as the Instructions of the King of Spain were concerned, which constituted an insult to his King [Petruccelli, II, p. 461]. Villena, apparently, was also considering favorably Cardinal Roberto Bellarmine; in a report to Spain he remarked, "...En alguna confusion o aprieto tienen peligro de salir Mantica, Belarminio o Verona, y esto es en suma lo que se pudo percebir de la disposicion del Conclave despues que entraron en el, donde quedan bien desavenidos y diferentes en deseos y fines. Sali de alla al amanecer hoy, 9 de Mayo" [Couderc, p. 18. n.3]. The King decided not to oppose his election [Couderc, p, 21].
The Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand I, took the trouble to mention to the French Cardinals Joyeuse and Perron that he would like to see Borghese elected pope, a wish he had already expressed to the Spanish: Lerma, Villena and Cardinal Antonio Zapata y Cisneros.
The French cardinals were subject to the will of the King of France. Henri IV had expressed his preferences in October, 1604, in a memorial to his ambassador and to Cardinal de Joyeuse: Baronius was his first choice. The King was also agreeable, however, to Cardinals Valier (Valerio), Sauli, Palotta, Bufalo, and Séraphin Olivier; he was not opposed to Pompeio Arrigoni and Camillo Borghese. The King most definitely did not want Como, Bernerio (Ascoli), Lorenzo Bianchetti, or Montelparo; he had no sympathy for Zacchia (S. Marcello) [Couzard, 347-348]. On March 16, he wrote to Ambassador de Béthune, "Partant si nous ne pouvons avoir pour pape Florence ou Baronius, j'aurai très agreable Vérone... Mais je désirerais fort que nous puissons avoir Florence par préférence a tout autre, et si nous sommes exclus et déboutés de Florence, donnons à l'un des deux autres" [Couzard, 349 n.]. The French Cardinals' greatest suspicions were directed toward Tolomeo Galli di Como (the Dean), and also to all of the monks with the exception of Anselmo Marzato, OFM Cap. The French Ambassador (1601-1605), Philippe de Béthune, also had a special dislike of Cardinal Sauli, because the latter had not returned the favor which the Ambassador had shown him during the March conclave. On May 3, Cardinal du Perron wrote to King Henri that it was going to be necessary for the French cardinals to show their friendship to Cardinal Aldobrandini by acceeding to his firm demand that they help him in excluding Sauli, even though Sauli had been one of those considered 'acceptable' on King Henri's list. They also promised Cardinal Aldobrandini that they would help him to exclude Lorenzo Bianchetti, d’Ascoli (Girolamo Bernerio, OP), and Montelpero—which was not a problem, since they were also rejected by King Henri.
By the beginning of the Conclave, Aldobrandini's faction seemed to have twenty-six votes, Montalto, the five Spanish, and the 'League' (of elder cardinals) seemed to have twenty-six too.
At the beginning of the conclave, a number of electors were leaning towards Cardinal Domenico Toschi, the Bishop of Tivoli, an experienced soldier, lawyer and administrator, who had been governor of Rome from 1595 to 1599. He was, however, spoken against, more for his manners and his style of speaking than his competence (It may have been simple class prejudice). Cardinal Baronius remarked that this did not suit a Vicar of Christ, and most of Toschi's supporters transferred their votes to (of all people) Baronius himself (to a total of 32).
The conclave began on Sunday, May 8 [Gattico I, 348; Gauchat, p. 9 n. 2]. Fifty-seven cardinals were present [The Histoire des conclaves I, p. 315 says fifty-nine]. Cardinals Madruzzo and Zacchia, who were ill, were certainly not in attendance. Petruccelli says Pinelli was also ill [II, 461]. The Mass of the Holy Spirit was sung by the Dean of the Sacred College, Tolomeo Galli di Como. The Oratio pro pontifice eligendo was provided by Alessandro Burgi of Modena, Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Cardinal Aldobrandini had been ill and confined to bed with a fever and a cough, but he appeared nontheless, out of fear (it was said) that people might attempt to do something in favor of Sauli. Indeed, it seems as though the friends of Sauli attempted to organize an election "by adoration" then and there Sauli himself, however, wished to avoid a scene and a scandal, which the friends of Aldobrandini were threatening, and refused to proceed. He would (they said) bide his time until Aldobrandini had to be absent because of his illness, at which time the plan could proceed without hindrance. Unfortunately for Sauli, Aldobrandini grew stronger every day. Domenico Toschi, however, took to his bed with some unspecified illness [Histoire des conclaves, I, p. 315]. At some point Aldobrandini believed that he had entered into an understanding with the French faction that he would see to giving the virtual exclusion (veto by votes) to Cardinals Lorenzo Bianchetti; Girolamo Bernerio, OP; and Gregorio Petrocchini del Montelparo. In return the French agreed to work for the election of one of Aldobrandini's creature, in particular Blandrate di San Giorgio and Toschi. The Spanish, it turned out, had no orders to exclude Blandrate.
The First Scrutiny, on the morning of May 9 (voting was still an open matter), was completely inconclusive. No candidate had a large showing. Bellarmine received 14 votes (including the results of the accessio; eleven on the scrutiny). This operation in his behalf was conducted by Sforza (his cousin), Acquaviva and Sfondrato, and was joined by Farnese. Cardinal Baronius received eight votes. The rest were widely scattered, many no doubt tributes from one friend to another. Farnese got one, as did Doria and Pio di Carpo. Montalto got two. It is said that Cardinal Silvestro Aldobrandini, who was only 17, complained that he had not received a single vote; it is not clear whether he was making a very bad joke, or demonstrating an appallingly high degree of narcissism. Bellarmine, however, took it seriously (as he did everything), and remarked that cardinals who voted for such young candidates were failing to follow the promptings of their consciences and were committing mortal sins [Histoire des conclaves, p. 277; Petruccelli, II, p. 465].
On the Third Scrutiny [May 11], Cardinal Sauli had thirteen votes, Visconti eleven, and Borgese ten. The other votes were scattered.
On the Fourth Scrutiny [May 12], Borghese had the largest number of votes, with eleven. The greatest effort, however, was being made by Montalto and his faction to give the virtual exclusion to Cardinal Blandrate di San Giorgio [Histoire des conclaves, 319]. They included Montalto, Visconti, Aldobradino (Saint Cesareo), Sfondrati, d'Este and Pio di Carpi [Letter of Monte to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, May 13, 1605: Petruccelli, II, p. 469].
On the Fifth Scrutiny [Friday, May 13], Borghese had eleven, Baronius had eleven, and Camerino [Innocenzo del Bufalo Cancellieri] eight.
The events of Monday, May 16, are the subject of a long and revealing report of the Cardinal de Joyeuse to King Henri IV of France, written on May 19. The Acta Consistorialia also report the amazing event [Gauchat, p. 9 n.2; Calenzio, p. 689 n. 1]:
Anno MDCV, Feria II, die 16 eiusdem mensis Maii inter rev.mos patres ingens coorta est dissensio; aliis rev.mo card.li Baronio, aliis rev.mo card.li Tusco suffragantibus. Quae demum dissensio circa horam secundam noctis eiusdem diei repente sublata est; primo omnium consensu, deinde vivis suffragantibus ordine ac singillatim in Sum. Pont.cem elegentibus rev.mum Camillum Burghesium natione Romanum, S.R.E. pbr. card.lem qui Pauli V nomen assumpsit.
Two Cardinals were not in the Pauline Chapel for the uproar or the sudden lapse into agreement, Cardinal Zachias and Cardinal Madruzzo, who were confined to bed. They sent in their votes, however, and happily concurred in the result [Tamen ex his 60 card.bus duo infirmi in lectulo iacebant, scil. Zachias et Madrutius, et ideo ad electionem in sacella Paulina venire non potuerunt, sed consensum praestiterunt, et electionem hilariter approbaverunt]. On the evening of May 16, Cardinal Camillo Borghese, Vicar General of Rome and head of the Holy Inquisition, was unanimously elected pope. He was 53 years of age. The Spanish Ambassador and the Venetian Ambassador, Agostino Nani, were received by the new Pope immediately after the ceremonial recognition in St. Peter's Basilica. Cardinal Arrigoni was named Datary.
Paul V was crowned in the Vatican Basilica on May 29, the Feast of Pentecost. Cardinal Zacchia, who had been ill during the Conclave, died on May 31.
Paul V took possession of the Lateran Basilica on November 6.
Alessandro Burgi, Oratio ad Illmos et Rmos Cardinales pro novo Pontifice eligendo, habita in Basilica S. Petri 8. Idus Maji 1605 (Florentiae: Juntas, 1605). G. Orlandi, Relazione della solenne cavalcata fatta dalla S. di N. S. Paolo V dal suo palazzo di S. Pietro a S. Giovanni in Laterano nel pigliare il possesso di quella sua chiesa, con la descrizione degli apparati ed archi trionfali fatti dal popolo romano (Roma: G. Facciotto 1605).
Conclavi de' Pontifici Romani (Cologne 1692) Volume 1 [augmented edition, by Gregorio Leti] Histoire des conclaves depuis Clément V, jusqu' à présent [Innocent XII], augmentée... (Cologne: 1694) [translation of the Conclavi de' Pontefici Romani, by Vanel]. Histoire des conclaves, troisième édition, Tome premier (Cologne 1703), pp. 311-340.
Ludwig Wahrmund, Das Ausschliessungs-recht (jus exclusivae) der katholischen Staaten Österreich, Frankreich und Spanien bei den Papstwahlen (Wien 1888), 117-120.
Giuseppe Novaes Elementi della storie de Sommi Pontefice Volume IX terza edizione (Roma 1822) 77-81; 86-89. G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Volume 38 (Venezia 1846) 49-50. Alexis Francois Artaud de Montor, Histoire des souverains pontifes romains Tome V (Paris 1851), 172-174 (substantially copying Novaes). F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Volume II (Paris: 1864), 452-492. Leopold von Ranke, History of the Popes, their Church and State revised edition (translated by E. Fowler) Volume II (New York 1901), pp. 211-224. T.A. Trollope The Papal Conclaves (London 1876) 262-292.
Claude-Pierre Goujet, Histoire du Pontificat de Paul V. Tome premier (Amsterdam 1765). Maria Teresa Fattori, Clemente VIII e il Sacro Collegio, 1592-1605: meccanismi istituzionali ed accentramento di governo (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann 2004) [Päpste und Papsttum, 33].
Antoine Aubery, L' histoire du Cardinal duc de Joyeuse (Paris: chez Robert Denain, 1664). Cesar de Ligny (editor), Les ambassades et negotiations de l' Illustrissime et Reverendissime Cardinal du Perron dernière edition (Paris: chez Pierre Lamy 1633). M. de Burigny, Vie du Cardinal du Perron, Archevêque de Sens et Grand-Aumônier de France (Paris: De Bure 1768). Raymundus Alberici, "De vita et scriptis venerabilis cardinalis Caesare Baronii Libri Duo," in Raymundis Albericius, Ven. Caesaris Baronii S. R.E. Cardinalis Bibliothecarii Epistolae Tomus Primus (Romae 1759), 1-112. Domenico Sarra, Vita del ven. card. Cesare Baronio (Roma: 1862), 156-168. Amabel Kerr, The Life of Cesare Cardinal Baronius (London 1898). Generoso Calenzio, La vita e gli scritti del Cardinale Cesare Baronio (Roma: Tipografia Vaticana 1907).
Francesco Rivola, Vita di Federico Borromeo, Cardinale del titolo di Santa Maria degli Angeli ed Arcivescovo di Milano (Milano: Giuseppe Gariboldi 1656).
Champollion-Figeac (editors), Nouvelle collection des Mémoires pour servir à l' Histoire de France. Deuxième partie du tome premier. Registre-Journal de Henri IV et de Louis XIII (Paris 1837). Berger de Xivrey (editor), Recueil des lettres missives de Henri IV Tome VI, 1603-1606 (Paris: Imprimerie Impériale 1853).
Pietro Aldobrandino, La legazione in Francia del Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandino, narrata da lui medesimo (edited by Luigi Fumi) (Citta di Castello 1903) [1598: the embassy was led by Cardinal Alessandro de' Medici]. R. Couzard, Une ambassade à Rome sous Henri IV (September 1601–Juin1605), d' après des documents inédits (Tonneins: Georges Ferrier 1900) [Philippe de Béthune].
John Paul Adams, CSUN