(July 22—September 21, 1676)

Arms of Card. Paluzzi


Shield with the Arms of Paluzzo Card. Paluzzi, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (1671-1698), surmounted by Cardinal's Hat with tassels; crossed keys above, with the Ombrellone over all.

Berman, p. 150 #2059.

The Holy Spirit

piastra (grosso)


(in exergue:) ROMA The Holy Spirit, surrounded by rays of light interspersed with tongues of fire.. [John 3. 8]

Arms of Card. Paluzzi Altieri SEDE • VACAN | TE • MDCLXXVI

Arms of Paluzzo Card. Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (1671-1698), upon a Maltese Cross, surmounted by the Ombrellone, crossed keys, and the Cardinal's Hat with six tassels on each side.

Berman, p.150 #2059 .

PALUZZO CARDINAL PALUZZI ALTIERI DEGLI ALBERTONI (1623-1698). Paluzzo Paluzzi was a member of one of Rome's distinguished families. He obtained a doctorate in law at the University of Perugia. He joined the Apostolic Chamber under Urban VIII Barberini, and became Auditor General under Alexander VII Chigi. His family was joined with the Altieri when his nephew, Gaspare Albertoni, married the niece and sole heiress of the family of Emilio Cardinal Altieri. In 1664 Paluzzo was named Cardinal Priest and received the titulus of SS. Apostoli (which he exchanged for S. Crisogono and then S. Maria in Trastevere). He was elected Bishop of Montefiascone and Corneto in 1666.

In 1670, his relative Emilio Cardinal Altieri, was elected Pope Clement X, and on the day of the election the new pope adopted Paluzzo Paluzzi and named him Cardinal Nephew. He received a number of important benefices as a result: Archbishop of Ravenna (1670-1674?), Legate in Avignon (1670), Legate in Urbino (1673-1677), Governor of Tivoli. He became Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church on August 4, 1671, a post which he held until his death on June 29, 1698. At the time of the Conclave of 1676, he was the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation de propaganda fide. In 1691 he was promoted to Cardinal Bishop of Sabina, then to Palestrina, and then to Porto and Santa Rufina in 1698. He was Archpriest of the Lateran from 1693-1698.

He participated in the Conclaves of 1667 and 1669-70 and presided at the Conclaves of 1676, 1689, and 1691

Francesco Cardinal Barberini, nephew of Pope Urban VIII, was Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

.Msgr. Domenico Maria Corsi was elected Governor of the Conclave. (Novaes, 6)

The Marshal of the Conclave was Prince Giulio Savelli (1626-1712), the second son of Prince Bernardino Savelli, Prince of Albano (1606-1658) and Felice Peretti, the heiress of Pope Sixtus V. He married Caterina Aldobrandini, daughter of Pietro Aldobrandini, Duke of Carpentino, and then Caterina Giustiniani. The family were perpetually in financial difficulties: in 1596 they sold Castel Gandolfo to the pope, and in 1650 the duchy of Albano. He succeeded his father as Marshal of the Holy Roman Church in 1658. He had one son, who predeceased him. On his death in 1712, the office of Hereditary Marshal of the Roman Church was conferred on the Chigi Family. Prince Giulio Savelli left a manuscript Conclave Diary; it is in the Chigi archives.

The Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals was Abbot Guido Passionei.

The Masters of Ceremonies were:
           Franciscus Maria Phoebaeus, Archiepiscopus Tarsensis, Archihospitalis S. Spiritus Commendatarius, praefectus
           Carolus Vincentius Carcarasius, Canonicus basilicae Principis Apostolorum
           Fulvius Servantius, Canonicus collegiatae ecclesiae S. Mariae in Via lata
           Petrus Paulus Bona, presbyter Romanus
           Petrus Sanctes de Fantibus, presbyter Camerinensis
           Gabriel Confidatus Servantius, clericus Assisiensis.


Death of Pope Clement

Cardinal Francesco Barberini, Dean of the College of Cardinals

Pope Clement X (Altieri) died on the afternoon of July 22, 1676. He was in his 86th year, and had been ill for some time, both physically and (as the French sources in particular insist) mentally. In his senility, he deferred completely to his "nephew", Cardinal Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri, who was not a scrupulous man financially or politically. Early on the evening of his death, the body of the pope was carried in solemn procession from the Quirinal to St. Peter's, where it lay in state in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament for the three succeeding days

The novendiales began on the morning of the 23rd. After lunch Cardinals Barberini (the Dean) [portrait at left], Paluzzi Atieri (the Camerlengo), Cibo (the senior Cardinal-Priest present), and Carlo Barberini (in the absence of Cardinal Maidalchini, the Protodeacon) met at the Chancellery and made arrangements for the security of Rome during the Sede Vacante. At the Fourth Congregation, on July 26, Don Gasparo Altieri was confirmed in his position as General of the Holy Roman Church, and Prince Savelli, the Marshal of the Holy Roman Church, was received by the Cardinals On the 27th, the Ambassador of France, the Duc, d'Estrées, was received; the reply to his speech was made by the Dean, Cardinal Barberini. Monsignor Domenico Maria Corsi (Corti) was elected Governor of the Borgo and Governor of the Conclave (Conclavi, 92) The Ambassador of Venice was received at the Sixth Congregation on July 28. Next day the Ambassador of Portugal, the Bishop of Lamego, was received, as well as those of several Princes.

Cardinal Franzoni arrived in Rome on July 30, and on the 31st Cardinals Bichi, Crescenzio and Conti. It was noticed that evening that Cardinals Barbarini, Chigi, d' Estrées, and Rospigliosi met at the Palazzo della Cancelleria, apparently to open negotiations as to who would become pope (Conclavi, 95). Next day, more Cardinals arrived in Rome: Buonvisi, Marescotti, Buonaccorsi, Gravina, and Caraccioli. On August 2 Cardinal Neri Corsini arranged a meeting of a number of cardinals at the house of Cardinal Rospigliosi for discussions. No dowbt these were the creature of Alexander VII. Cardinal Chigi, in his most recent visit to Florence, had entered into an oral agreement with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III (1670-1723), to support Cardinal Neri Corsini, a Florentine, for the Papal Throne. Should this turn out to be impossible to achieve, the second choice was Cardinal Piccolomini.



The Cardinals

At the death of Pope Clement there were sixty-seven cardinals, of whom sixty-five ultimately participated in the Conclave, though two died before its conclusion [Bullarium Romanum (Turin edition) 19, pp. 24-29: list of graces and privileges given to the Conclavists; and pp. 34-37, for the dapiferi]. The Conclave began on Sunday, August 2, with forty-four cardinals attending the Mass of the Holy Spirit in St. Peter's. The author of the Conclave states that 36 cardinals, whom he names, entered on the 2nd, and fourteen more on the 3rd, (Discorso Terzo, folium E, recto and verso). The same list of 36 is given by the author of Conclavi (p. 97), and he names three cardinals who entered during the day on the 3rd and 11 cardinals who entered on the evening of the 3rd (p. 98). That would be a total of fifty.


Cardinals attending:

  1. Francesco Barberini (aged 68), Suburbicarian Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Brother of Cardinal Antonio. Nephew of Urban VIII. Protector of England.  Prefect of the SC of the Universal and Roman Inquisition (1633-1679)  S.R.E. Vice-Chancellor. [Bullarium Romanum Turin edition 16, no. cxxxix, pp. 217].  He had been a cardinal for 53 years.    (died December 10, 1679)
  2. Ulderico Carpegna (aged 71) [Urbino], Suburbicarian Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina, Sub-Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Previously Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia.   Former Bishop of Gubbio (1630-1638) and then of Todi (1638-1643).  (died January 24, 1679)
  3. Giulio Gabrielli (aged 72) [Romanus], Suburbicarian Bishop of Sabina    (died August 31, 1677).
  4. † Virginio Orsini (aged 61) [Romanus], son of Prince Fernando, Duke of Bracciano, etc. and Giustiniana Orsini. Previously Cardinal Priest of S. Prassede.  Suburbicarian Bishop of Frascati    (died August 21, 1676, during the Conclave)
  5. Cesare Facchinetti (aged 57) [Bononiensis], Suburbicarian Bishop of Palestrina.    (died January 30, 1683).
  6. Girolamo Grimaldi-Cavalleroni (aged 81), Suburbicarian Bishop of Albano     (died November 4, 1685).

  7. Carlo Rosetti (aged 62) [Ferrara], Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina.  Previously Cardinal Priest of S. Silvestro in Capite (1654-1672). Previously Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Via (1643-1644), and of C. Cesareo (1644-1653). Titular Archbishop of Tarsus (1641-1643), Bishop of Faenza (1643-1676). Afterwards Cardinal Bishop of Frascati in 1676, then Porto e Santa Rufina (1680-1681).   (died November 23, 1681)
  8. Niccolò Albergati-Ludovisi (aged 68) [Bononiensis], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere (died August 9, 1687). Major Penitentiary.
  9. Benedetto Odescalchi (aged 65) [Como], son of Livio Odescalchi and Paula Castelli. Cardinal Priest of S. Onofrio (died August 12, 1689). Under Urban VIII he was made a prelate and appointed to the Apostolic Camera as one of the Praesides. He was assigned as collector of the vectigalia in the Province of the Marches.  Under Innocent X he was made a cardinal and Bishop of Novara (1650-1676), as well as Legate in Ferrara [Gams, 820].
  10. Alderano Cibo (aged 63), [Genoa], son of the Prince of Massa Carrara. Majordomo of the Apostolic Palace for Innocent X. Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana (1645-1668),  then S. Prassede (1668-1677), then S. Lorenzo in Lucina (1677-1679) then Bishop of Palestrina, then Porto, then Ostia  Bishop of Iesi (June 29, 1656—1670).  (died July 22, 1700). 
  11. Lorenzo Raggi (aged 61), Cardinal Priest of SS. Quirico e Giulitta   (died January 14, 1687) Vice-Chamberlain.
  12. Jean-François-Paul de Gondi de Retz (aged 63), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria sopra Minerva   (died August 24, 1679).
  13. Luigi Omodei (aged 59) [Mediolanensis], Cardinal Priest of SS. Bonifacio ed Alessio   (died April 26, 1685).
  14. Pietro Vito Ottoboni (aged 66) [Venetus], Cardinal Priest of S. Marco   (died February 1, 1691).
  15. Francesco Albizzi (aged 82), Cardinal Priest of SS. Quattro Coronati.   (died October 5, 1684).
  16. Carlo Pio di Savoia (aged 54), Cardinal Priest of S. Crisogono (died February 13, 1689).
  17. Flavio Chigi (aged 45) [Senensis]. Cardinal Priest of Santa. Maria del Popolo (died September 13, 1693).  Nephew of Pope Alexander VII
  18. Girolamo Buonvisi (aged 69) [Lucca], Cardinal Priest of San Girolamo dei Croati (died February 21, 1677) Bishop of Lucca.
  19. Antonio Bichi (62) [Senensis], Cardinal Priest of San Agostino (died February 21, 1691) Bishop of Osimo.
  20. Giacomo Franzoni (aged 63) [Januensis], Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli (died December 19, 1697) Bishop of Camerino.
  21. Pietro Vidoni (aged 65) [Cremonensis], Cardinal Priest of San Pancrazio (died January 5, 1681)
  22. Gregorio Barbarigo (aged 50) [Venetus], Cardinal Priest of San Tommaso in Parione (died June 18, 1697). Bishop of Padua.
  23. Girolamo Boncompagni (aged 54) [Bononiensis], Cardinal Priest of SS. Marcellino e Pietro (died January 24, 1684) Archbishop of Bologna.
  24. † Carlo Bonelli (aged 64) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of Santa Anastasia (died August 27, 1676, during the Conclave) Vice-Chancellor
  25. Celio Piccolomini (aged 67) [Senensis], Cardinal Priest of San Pietro in Montorio (died May 24, 1681) Archbishop of Siena..
  26. Carlo Carafa (aged 65) [Napolitanus], Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Via (died October 19, 1680) .
  27. Alfonso Litta (aged 67), Cardinal Priest of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (died August 28, 1679) Archbishop of Milan.
  28. Neri Corsini (aged 62), Cardinal Priest of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo (died September 19, 1678) Bishop of Arezzo.
  29. Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni (aged 53) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli (died June 29, 1698). Cardinal Camerlengo
  30. Giannicolò Conti di Poli (aged 59) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Traspontina (died January 20, 1698) Bishop of Ancona.
  31. Giacomo Filippo Nini (47) [Senensis], Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria della Pace .(died August 11, 1680).
  32. Giulio Spinola (aged 64) [Januensis], Cardinal Priest of San Martino ai Monti (died March 11, 1691) Bishop of Nepi and Sutri.
  33. Innico Caracciolo d'Airola (aged 69) [Neapolitanus], Cardinal Priest of San Clemente (died January 30, 1685). Archbishop of Naples.
  34. Giovanni Delfino (59) [Venetus], Cardinal Priest of SS. Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia (died July 19, 1699). Patriarch of Aquileia. .
  35. Giacomo Rospigliosi, (aged 48) [Pistoia], Cardinal Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo (died February 2, 1684). Legate in Avignon.  He was Abbot Commendatory of the Abbey of Nonantola (1671-1684).   Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica (Santa Maria Maggiore). Nephew of Pope Clement IX
  36. Emmanuel Théodose de la Tour d'Auvergne de Bouillon (aged 33), Cardinal Priest of San Lorenzo in Panisperna.(died March 2, 1715)
  37. Luis Manuel Fernández de Portocarrero (aged 41) Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabina (died September 14, 1709).
  38. Camillo Massimo (aged 56) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of San Eusebio. (died September 12, 1677)
  39. Gasparo Carpegna (aged 51) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of San Silvestro in Capite (died April 6, 1714).
  40. Bernhard Gustave von Baden-Durlach, OSB (aged 44), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died December 26, 1677).
  41. César d'Estrées (aged 48) [French], Cardinal Priest of Santissima Trinità al Monte Pincio (died December 18, 1714). Bishop of Laon
  42. Johann Eberhard Nidhard, S.J (aged 68) [German], Cardinal Priest of San Bartolomeo all’Isola (died February 1, 1681)
  43. Pierre de Bonzi (aged 45), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died July 11, 1703). Archbishop of Narbonne
  44. Vincenzo Maria Orsini de Gravina, OP (aged 27) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of San Sisto (died February 21, 1730). Bishop of Manfredonia.
  45. Francesco Nerli (aged 40) [Florentinus], son of Pietro Nerli and Costanza Magalotti.  Cardinal-Priest of S. Matteo in Merulana (1673-1704).  He had studied philosophy in Rome, and Civil and Canon Law in Siena, and received his Doctorate in Pisa. In 1638 Alexander VII made him a Referendary and one of the Abbreviatores de parco maiori in the Apostolic Camera. In 1666 he was named vice-Legate in Bologna.  Clement IX made him a voting member of the Apostolic Segnatura.  Clement X made him a Canon of the Vatican Basilica.  Archbishop of Florence (1670-1682), and Nuncio to Vienna and Poland.  Nuncio in France (1672-1673). He was named cardinal on June 13, 1673, and presented with the red biretta by Maria Theresa.  Secretary of State (1673-1676).  Bishop of Assisi (1685-1689). . [Guarnacci I, column 52]    (died April 8, 1708).
  46. Girolamo Gastaldi (aged 60) [Januensis], Cardinal Priest of Santa Pudenziana (died April 8, 1685) .
  47. Federico Baldeschi Colonna (aged 50) [Perusinus], Cardinal Priest of San Marcello (died October 4, 1691).
  48. Galeazzo Marescotti (aged 48) [Bononiensis], Cardinal Priest of San Bernardo alle Terme (died July 3, 1726). Legate in Ferrara.
  49. Alessandro Crescenzi (aged 69) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of Santa Prisca (died May 8, 1688). Bishop of Recanati and Loreto.
  50. Bernardino Rocci (aged 49) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of San Stefano al Monte Celio (died November 2, 1680). Archbishop-bishop of Orvieto.
  51. Fabrizio Spada (aged 33) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of San Callisto. (died June 15, 1717) ex-Nuncio in France
  52. Mario Alberizzi (aged 66), Cardinal Priest of San Giovanni a Porta Latina (died October 29, 1680). Archbishop-Bishop of Tivoli.
  53. Cardinal Philip Howard, an engravingPhilip Thomas Howard of Norfolk and Arundel, OP (aged 46) [Arundel House, London, England, born September 21, 1629], third son of Henry Frederick Howard, third Earl of Arundel, and Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of Esme, Lord d'Aubigny (later Duke of Richmond and Lennox).  Cardinal Priest of S. Maria sopra Minerva (1679–1694). He and his brothers studied briefly at Cambridge, then at Utrecht and Antwerp. Having fled from England on the announcement of his Catholic belief, he became a Cavalry officer for the Duke of Savoy.  Desiring a quiet life, however, in 1645 he became a Dominican novice at Cremona.  His relatives, the Duke of Savoy, the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan and other cardinals of the Papal Court attempted to reverse his decision—but without success. The Pope then referred his case to the cardinals at the SC de propaganda fide, and summoned Howard to Rome to undergo his novitiate.  He spent five months with the Oratorians, where the truth of his vocation was tested.   The Pope, satisfied, gave the Vicar General of the Dominicans, Domenico Marini, permission to admit Howard to solemn profession in the Order at the Convent of S. Sisto. He was 17. He continued his studies in Naples, at the Convent of S. Maria della salute, and then at Rennes in Brittany.  He was ordained priest at the age of 22.  He founded a monastery in honor of the Virgin Mary at Bornheim in East Flanders, and was appointed the first Prior on December 15, 1657.  When the monarchy was restored in England he was summoned home to negotiate the marriage of King Charles and Catherine of Braganza, whose Almoner he became.  He was also her Chaplain and in charge of her Oratory. He lived at St. James' Palace, where he dined with Samuel Pepys (Diary III, 47-49).  The Pope, badly advised by the enthusiasts at the Propaganda, who insisted that England was enthusiastic toward Rome, made Howard his Vicar Apostolic in England and titular Bishop of Helenopolis.  At the request of King Charles, however, the bulls were never published and Howard was never consecrated. Protestants. however, were aroused anyway. In 1674, the violence of anti-Catholic feeling in England caused him to flee to Bruxelles. When he had to travel to France to confer with his Father General, he learned that the Pope had appointed him a cardinal (on May 27, 1675).  In Rome, he took up residence in the Monastery at Santa Sabina.  He was subsequently Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica (S. Maria Maggiore) (1688-1694). Protector of Great Britain (until Innocent XI was persuaded by the Jesuits, who were far more eager than the Cardinal to reconquer England for the Church, to remove Howard).  He died on June 17, 1694, and was buried at the Minerva [V. Forcella, Inscrizioni delle chiese di Roma  I, p. 505, no. 1946 and 1947].  See the Dictionary of National Biography 28 (London 1891) 54-57 [by Thompson Cooper;  Isaacson's biography in The Story of the English Cardinals is nothing but a crib of the DNB article].

  54. Francesco Maidalchini (aged 55), Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata (died June 13, 1700) Cardinal Protodeacon [Gattico I, 361].
  55. Carlo Barberini (aged 46) [Romanus], Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin (died October 2, 1704).
  56. Decio Azzolino (aged 53) {Firmanus], Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachio (died June 8, 1689) Secretary of State of Innocent X (1667-1669)
  57. Paolo Savelli (aged 74) [Romanus], Cardinal Deacon of San Nicola in Carcere (died September 11, 1685).
  58. Sigismondo Chigi (aged 27) [Senensis], Cardinal Deacon of San Giorgio in Velabro (died April 30, 1678).
  59. Carlo Cerri (aged 65) {Romanus], Cardinal Deacon of San Adriano al Foro (died May 14, 1690). Bishop of Ferrara.
  60. Lazaro Pallavicino (aged 73) [Januensis], Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Aquiro.(died April 21, 1680)
  61. Niccolò Acciaioli (aged 46) [Florentinus], Cardinal Deacon of SS. Cosma e Damiano (died February 23, 1719). Legate in Ferrara.
  62. Buonaccorso Buonaccorsi (aged 56) [Macerata], Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria della Scala (died April 18, 1678). Legate in Bologna.
  63. Felice Rospigliosi (aged 37) [Pistoia], Cardinal Deacon of Sant' Angelo in Pescheria (died May 9, 1688).
  64. Girolamo Casanate (aged 56) Januensis], Cardinal Deacon of San Cesareo in Palatio (died March 3, 1700). He was born at Naples on June 13, 1620, the son of a leading senator and sometime diplomat. He studied the law at the University of Naples and practiced as a lawyer. He became the protegé of Giovanni Battista Cardinal Pamfilj, who had been Nuncio to the Court of Naples from 1621-1625, and who convinced Girolamo's father, during a diplomatic visit to Rome, to allow his son to take up the ecclesiastical profession. When Pamfilj became Pope Innocent X in 1644, Casanate was named Chamberlain of Honor, and was appointed papal governor of several cities in the Papal States, Sabina, Fabriano, Camerino, and then Ancona. At Camerino, he became acquainted with Bishop Emilio Altieri, who became Pope Clement X in 1670. From 1658 to 1662 he was Inquisitor at Malta. He was created Cardinal deacon by Clement X on June 12, 1673. In 1693 he was appointed Vatican Librarian (Bibliothecarius Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae). He took part in the conclaves of 1676, 1689 and 1691. He died in Rome on March 3, 1700.
  65. Pietro Basadonna (aged 59) [Venetus], Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica (died October 6, 1684).

Cardinals not attending:

  1. Friedrich von Hessen-Darmstadt, O.S.Io.Hieros. (aged 60), Cardinal Deacon of Santa Agata in Suburra (died February 19, 1682).
  2. Pascual de Aragón-Córdoba-Cardona y Fernández de Córdoba (aged 50), Cardinal Priest of Santa Balbina. (died September 28, 1677) Archbishop of Toledo


Conclave Factions

There were, according to Michaud (p. 10, echoing Gregorio Leti), seven factions. The French faction had six members (Bouillon, Bonzi, Estrées, Grimaldi, Maidalchini, and Retz). The Spanish also had six (Nidhard, Bernhard of Baden, Portocarrero, Pio, Raggi, and Savelli). Cardinal Barberini (nephew of Urban VIII) had six votes (including Carlo Barberini, Carpegna, Facchinetti, Gabrielli, and Rosetti). Cardinal Chigi's (nephew of Alexander VII) faction had seventeen (including Sigismondo Chigi, Barbadigo, Boncompagni, Bonvisi, Caraccioli, Caraffa, Corsini, Conti, Delfino, Franzoni, Litta, Nini, Piccolomini, Vidoni, and Spinola). The Nephew of Clement IX, Cardinal Giacomo Rospigliosi, led six cardinals (including Acciaioli, Buonacorsi, Cerri, Palavicini, and Felice Rospigliosi); he was an old friend and confidante of Cardinal Odescalchi. The Camerlengo presided over a faction of fourteen (including Albizzi, Gasparo Carpegna, Casanate, Colonna, Crescenzio, Gastaldi, Marescotti, Massimi, Nerli, Norfolk, Rocci, and Spada). The 'escadronistes" had only three members (Ottoboni, Azzolini and Omodei). There were a few cardinals, including Cibo, Ludovisi, and Odescalchi, who were not committed to any faction (though some attribute these to the Escadron). But not all of these warriors were in the battle line at the beginning of the conclave.

The great powers were all represented in Rome: the Emperor Leopold I, in the absence of an ambassador, by Cardinal Carlo Pio di Savoia of Ferrara;   the King of France Louis XIV by the Duc d' Estrées and the Cardinal César d'Estrées;   Charles II, King of Spain, was represented by his mother's former confessor, the Cardinal Johann Nidhard, SJ.   The Archbishop of Braga, Veríssimo de Lencastre, represented Alfonso VI of Portugal.   Philip Howard, OP, the Cardinal Norfolk, spoke for Catholic England. Louis XIV was so annoyed at his treatment during the Altieri years that he forbade cardinals of the French interest from visiting the Camerlengo or any of Pope Clement's creatures. The Duc d' Estrées was under strict orders to ally the French faction with Cardinals Chigi and Ruspogliosi against Cardinal Paluzzi Altieri and the Clementine faction ([Leti], Conclave, 5). Naturally, the Spanish, who always opposed the French, would support Paluzzi Altieri. This complicated matters considerably. Former Queen Christine of Sweden attempted to mix in to the politics of the Conclave, writing to the King of France that she could offer him the support of Cardinal Decio Azzolini and his friends, but a reply was only written after the Conclave had ended ([Leti], Histoire des conclaves 3rd ed. Vol.2, 11).


On Sunday August 2, 1676, the Cardinals assembled in the Vatican Basilica for the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Afterwards they proceeded in procession to the Vatican Palace to begin the Conclave.

Cardinal Flavio Chigi, nephew of Pope Alexander VII

In the first scrutiny, on August 4, the votes were widely scattered. Votes went to Vidone, Barbarigo, Odescalchi (7), Spinola and Cerri (Anonymous, Conclave; [Leti], Conclavi, 98). In the second scrutiny, in the morning of August 5, Barbarigo, Odescalchi and Gravina each had 9 votes. That evening, after the accessio, Cardinal Chigi [portrait at left] went to Rospigliosi's cell, and they engaged in a long conversation as to the strategy of getting Cardinal Corsini elected. Rospigliosi then spoke with the two members of the French faction who were present at the Conclave and with Cardinal Barberini, while Chigi undertook to persuade the Spanish faction and the "Squadronisti". Cardinal Paluzzi Altieri was left out of the discussions.

On the morning of the 6th, Cardinal Corsini had 27 votes, and in the afternoon, at the accessio, 14. The change was due to Cardinal Paluzzi Altieri's realization of what was going on, and his immediate reaction. He had a conversation with Cardinal Nithard, the leader of the Spanish faction, who controlled six votes and had greater influence as the spokesman for the King. They put together sufficient votes to form an exclusiva against Corsini.

In the second week of August, an event occurred which enormously complicated the proceedings. A new Spanish Ambassador Extraordinary arrived from Milan, the Conde de Melgar, son of the Admiral of Castile. He had been appointed by letters issued on April 13, before a conclave was even contemplated, though technically he did not have letters appointing him to the Conclave. Cardinal Nidhard, who was acting as Ambassador Ordinary, was greatly put out, all the more so because the new ambassador was a great friend of Cardinal Portocarrero, Nidhard's rival for influence in the Spanish faction. On August 15, Melgar sent a courier to Madrid to request further instructions. On the same day there arrived letters from Louis XIV, in answer to messages from the French Ambassador in Rome and from Cardinal Paluzzi Altieri. To Paluzzi Altieri's chagrin, they did not contain a response to his offers of support for the French in exchange for their support of his efforts. To make matters worse, there were messages for Cardinals Chigi and Rospigliosi, encouraging them to cooperate in their designs.

Celio Cardinal Piccolomini, Archbishop of Siena (and former Nuncio in France), was the next favorite, receiving as many as 28 votes. The chief drawback to his candidacy was the fact that he had been the representative of Alexander VII in France, and when the French cardinals appeared, his chances would only decline..

Cardinal Odescalchi was one of those who was highly thought of by the Austrian Court and the Polish Court, and had been a candidate in the Conclave of 1669-1670. In the early scrutinies he was receiving between eight and ten votes. Concerning him John Bargrave, Canon of Canterbury, wrote (90-91), "He is a man of middle intelligence, and, although he hath binn at great expense, yet he is a rich Cardinal—very splendid and affable, having a great kindness for the family of Pamphilio. In the time of his prelature as clerk of the apostolick chamber, he was much given to pasttimes, comedies, banquetines, and feasts; but since he has bin Cardinal he is much retired, and avoideth common commerce and conversation [He was, 1676, chosen Pope, and, as I hve heard, by the name of Innocent the XIth.] I having binn 4 times from London at Rome, have seen him very many times... As for the lady Donna Olympia, his patroness, she governed the Roman court and chair almost all her brother Pope Innocent the Xth's time, about 10 years...."

Lippi-Berthier (p. 34; 229) quotes an anonymous source, writing in 1676 or 1677, that it was as a result of a sermon preached by the Preacher of the Conclave, Father Bonaventura da Recanati, on August 15 (Feast of the Assumption) that some electors began to turn toward Odescalchi, giving him 22 votes ([Leti], Histoire des conclaves 3rd ed. Vol. 2, pp. 14-15; Petruccelli, 286). The next morning, Cardinal Paluzzi Altieri stated that if these were genuine votes, not casual accessions or some factional meaoeuvre, he would throw his fifteen votes behind Odescalchi too. This movement was opposed by Cardinal d'Estrées and the French interest, and supported by the Spanish and Imperial interest, led by Cardinal Cibo.   But it was Cardinal Gravina (according to Novaes and Montor;  or Cardinal Orsini, according to Moroni) who is said to have proposed the name of Cardinal Odescalchi— who vigorously refused the honor.


The Arrival of the French

On August 29, after lunch, Cardinal Bernhard Gustave von Baden-Durlach entered the Conclave.

On the evening of August 30, four of the French cardinals, who had arrived in Rome a few days earlier, entered the conclave; they were Retz, Bouillon, Maidalchini and Bonzi (Conclavi, 139; Michaud, 34; Bozon 143). Immediately they set to work to help d'Estrées accomplish the will of the king. Remarkably, on the 4th of September, Cardinal de Retz himself received eight votes in the scrutiny, a compliment to the leader of the French party on its entry. The essential issue, to be sure, was the candidacy of Odescalchi—who had a great deal of sympathy inside the conclave—and the French attitude toward it. On the same day, September 4, at Versailles, Louis XIV finally decided that, in the light of d'Estrée's analyses and those of others, it would not be to the advantage of the French Throne to interpose a veto (exclusiva) against Cardinal Odescalchi.

On the evening of the 6th of September, Cardinal Grimaldi (Archbishop of Aix and a relative of the Prince of Monaco) entered conclave, and immediately complicated matters. His hostility to Cardinal Odescalchi worked in complete opposition to the d'Estrées' efforts to obtain assurances from Odescalchi which would satisfy Louis XIV and French interests (Michaud, 40-41). Great delicacy was needed, lest either party stray into a position which might give the impression of simony.

By the 8th of September the number of cardinals present at the conclave had risen to sixty-two, and thus the number of votes needed for a canonical election had risen to 42.  Neither Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri nor Flavio Chigi any longer had sufficient strength in the voting to obstruct events.


Cardinal Odescalchi

But on the evening of September 20, after dinner, some cardinals visited Odescalchi's room and escorted him to the chapel, where they, ultimately unanimously, kissed his hand in hommage. Odescalchi asked for a moment to consider, then began to suggest alternates, one after another. Led by Cardinal Cibo, however, the cardinals insisted that he accept the Papacy. This constituted election-by-adoration (or so the impression is given by Novaes, Moroni and Montor). But Odescalchi's official date of election is September 21, not September 20. There was a scrutiny on September 21, after mass in the Sistine Chapel; all the other cardinals voted for Odescalchi, who voted for Cardinal Barberini (Lippi, 35).

The story is obviously incomplete and unconvincing as it stands. Some commentators ignore the important fact that on the 20th of September, the French Ambassador was solemnly received by the Cardinals and gave an impressive address, which had been prepared to make it seem that Odescalchi was Louis XIV's choice (Bozon, p. 170).  Hagiographical clouds have certainly obscured many of the relevant details, making it appear that (for the first time in Conclave history) a 'party' called the 'zelanti', whose only interest was the good of the Church, made its influence felt (Novaes, 7). That explanation would appear to cast aside suspicions of simony. Canonization proceedings were begun in 1714 immediately upon the death of Louis XIV, and Odescalchi was raised to the rank of 'Blessed' in 1956, thereby removing any uncertainty as to who the aggrieved party might be. Church historians are understandably reluctant to investigate the nature of Odescalchi's accommodations with Cardinal d' Estrées and Louis XIV, particularly in the light of canon law and papal legislation against simony. It is certain, however, that the election turned out most unfavorable to French interests and favorable to the Spanish.   Louis XIV spent a generation working out his pique against Innocent and the Vatican.


Innocent XI

Benedetto Odescalchi (Innocent XI) was crowned on October 4 by Cardinal Maidalchini, the Cardinal Protodeacon, and took possession of the Lateran Basilica on November 8. Cardinal Alderano Cibo was named Secretary of State.






Conclave fatto nella Sede Vacante seguita dopo la Morte di Clemente X nel quale fu assonto al Trono Pontificio l' Eminentissimo et Reverendissimo Signore Cardinale Benedetto Odescalchi da Como, chiamato Innocentio XI alli 21. di settembre 1676 (stampato nell' Anno M DC LXXVII). A list of the participants is given at folia 2-4. [Gregorio Leti], Conclavi de' pontefici romani Nuova edizione, riveduta, corretta, ed ampliata Volume III (Colonia: Lorenzo Martini, 1691), Discorso Terzo, 81-179. [Gregorio Leti], Histoire des conclaves, depuis Clément V jusqu' à présent Troisieme edition, augmentée du Conclave de Clement XI Tome second (Cologne 1703).

Joannes Baptista Gattico, Acta Selecta Caeremonialia Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae ex variis mss. codicibus et diariis saeculi xv. xvi. xvii.   Tomus I (Romae 1753), pp. 361, 421-423 (Diary of Fulvius Servantius).

Thomas Montecatinus, Antonius Franceschettus (Procurator causae), Prosper Lambertini (Fidei Promotor), and Ioannes Zuccherinius (Subpromotor fidei),  Beatificationis et Canonizationitionis ven. servi Dei Innocentij Papae Undecimi Positio super Dubio an sit Signanda Commissio introductionis Causae in Casu (Romae: Typis Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae 1713).

G. Novaes, Elementi della storia de' sommi pontefice Vol. 11 (Roma 1822) 6-8. G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol 36 (Venezia 1846) 24-25. Alexis François Artaud de Montor, Histoire des souverains pontifes Romains VI (Paris 1851) 104-106. Leopold von Ranke, History of the Popes of Rome during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (tr. S. Austin) (Philadelphia 1841), II, 214-224, III, 117ff., for the reaction of Louis XIV. For a French view of the conclave, see: A. Bozon, Le Cardinal de Retz à Rome (Paris 1878) 139-172, and E. Michaud, Louis XIV et Innocent XI (Paris 1882), Volume I, 1-55 [drawing on the letters of Cardinal César d' Estrées]. Mattia Giuseppe Lippi, Vita di Papa Innocenzo XI (ed. G. Berthier) (Roma 1889) 32-36 (the text by Lippi was written in 1695).   F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Troisième volume (Paris 1865). Charles Gérin, "Le Cardinal de Retz au Conclave, 1655, 1667, 1670 et 1676," Revue des questions historiques 30 (1881), 113-184.

On the possibility, and the denial, of electoral politicking involving Cardinals Odescalchi and Cibo, see Lippi-Berthier, pp. 221-226 . On Odescalchi's reputation in the Conclave of 1670, see T. A. Trollope, The Papal Conclaves (London 1876) 352-353 and 373-374.

For an estimate of the character of Cardinal Rospigliosi, see the report to the Senate of Venice by Ambassador Grimani, in 1670, see L. von Ranke History of the Popes; Their Church and State revised edition (tr. E. Fowler) (New York: The Colonial Press 1901) III pp. 413-416. On other cardinals, see the estimates made by a 17th century Canon of Canterbury, John Bargrave, D. D., Pope Alexander the Seventh and the College of Cardinals (The Camden Society 1867).



May 17, 2015 11:50 AM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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