February 21, 1730—July 12, 1730

Annibale Card. Albani, engraved portrait
Annibale Cardinal Albani

ANNIBALE CARDINAL ALBANI (1682-1751), was born at Urbino on August 15, 1682. His uncle became Pope Clement XI in 1700 (dying on March 19, 1721). Annibale was created Cardinal Deacon on December 23, 1711, being appointed to the Deaconry of S. Eustachio on March 2, 1712. He became Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica in 1712, where he had long been a Canon, and was promoted to be Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente in March, 1722, for which he was finally ordained a priest in October. He was appointed Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church on March 29, 1719, a post he held until 1747. He became bishop of Sabina on July 24, 1730, and was translated to Porto and Sta. Rufina in 1743. From 1719 he was director of the English hospital of St. John in Jerusalem.

Arms of Card. Albani AG  grosso


Shield with the Coat of Arms of Annibale Card. Albani, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (1719-1747), upon the Cross of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, crossed keys above, surmounted by Cardinal's hat with six tassels on each side; the Ombrellone over all.
The Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, with tongues of fire


The Holy Spirit, surrounded by rays and tongues of fire (Pentecost).

Berman, p. 174 #2602.


The Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals was Cardinal Francesco Barberini, Bishop of Ostia and Velletri.

Archbishop Giovanni Battista Gamburucci was the Papal Master of Ceremonies.

Msgr. Domenico Rivera of Urbino, Protonotarius apostolicus de numero participantium supernumerarius, Basilicae Principis Apostolorum de Urbe canonicus, was the Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals.


Death of Pope Benedict XIII

Pope Benedict XIII (Vincenzo Orsini, OP) died on February 21, 1730. The throne of Peter was vacant for eight months and twenty-one days. Benedict was hated by nearly everyone in Rome both because of his maladministration and because of his giving a free hand to Niccolò Cardinal Coscia, his evil genius. Coscia, in fear of his life, fled immediately to Cisterna (the seat of the Duke of Sermoneta). The Duke wrote to Cardinal Barberini about his situation, and, under a safe conduct from the Sacred College, he returned quietly to Rome and took part in the Conclave (on Coscia's fate, Montor, 12-13; Cartwright, 136-137).


The Cardinals

A list of the Cardinals is given by Mario Guarnacci, Vitae et Res Gestae Pontificum et S.R.E. Cardinalium II (Roma 1751), at columns 596-600. 

The official list of all Conclavists and their Cardinals is attached to Clement XII's motu proprio granting the usual privileges and absolutions to the Conclavists (Bullarium Romanum 23 [Augustae Taurinorum 1872], 28-31 (July 14, 1730).  Cf. Clemens XII, Gratiae et privilegia conclavistis postremi conclavis concessa (Roma: Camera Apostolica 1730).

Cardinals attending:

  1. Francesco Barberini, iuniore (aged 67), a member of the family of the Princes of Palestrina. Bishop of Ostia e Velletri. Great-grandnephew of Urban VIII. Died August 17, 1738.
  2. Francesco Pignatelli, Theat. (aged 78), Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina (1725-1734) . Nuncio to Poland (1700-1703) Archbishop of Naples (1703-1734).
  3. Giacomo Boncompagni (aged 77), Bishop of Albano (1724–1731).  Archbishop of Bologna (1690-1731).
  4. Pietro Ottoboni (aged 62) [Venetus], Bishop of Sabina (1725–1730),  and Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Damaso in commendam (1725–1740).  S.R.E. Vice-Cancellarius.  Grandnephew of Alexander VIII.
  5. Lorenzo Corsini (aged 68) [Romanus], Bishop of Frascati (1725-1730), previously Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli (1720–1725).  Died 1740, as Bishop of Rome.
  6. Tommaso Ruffo (aged 66) [born in Naples], son of the Duca di Bagnara. Bishop of Palestrina (1726–1738), previously Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere (1709–1726). Bishop of Ferrara (1717-1735).

  7. Benedetto Pamphilj (aged 76) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Via Lata (1693–1730) [created September 1681. Died during the Conclave on March 22, 1730; buried in S. Agnese in Piazza Navona]  Bibliothecarius S. R. E. and Archivist S. R. E.   Archpriest of the Lateran Basilica (1699-1730).  Grandnephew of Innocent X.
  8. Giuseppe Renato Imperiali (aged 78) [Genoa],  Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (1727–1737).
  9. Annibale Albani (aged 47) [of Urbino]. Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente  (1722-1730) S. R. E. Camerarius.  Promoted Cardinal BIshop of Sabina immediately after the Conclave.
  10. Ludovico Pico della Mirandola (aged 71). Cardinal Priest of S. Prassede (1728-1731).  Died August 10, 1743)
  11. Gianantonio Davia (De Via) (aged 69) [Bologna]. Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli (1725-1737).  Died January 11, 1740.
  12. Antonio Felice Zondadari (aged 74) [Siena]. Cardinal Priest of S. Balbina (1715-1731).  Died November 23, 1737.
  13. Pier Marcellino Corradini (aged 71). Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere (1726-1734), with S. Giovanni a Porta Latina in commendam.  Died February 8, 1743.
  14. Armand Gaston Maximilien de Rohan de Soubise (aged 55) [France], Cardinal Priest of Sma Trinità al Monte Pincio (1721–1749). Bishop of Strasbourg (1704-1749).
  15. Curzio Origo (aged 69) [Romanus]. son of Marchese Gaspare Origo and Maria Laura de Palumbaria. Cardinal Priest of S. Eustachio (1726-1737), previously Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachio (1716–1726).  Died March 18, 1737.
  16. Melchior de Polignac (aged 68) [France]. Cardinal Priest of S. Maria degli Angeli (1725–1741)  A conclavist of Cardinal de Bouillon in 1689 [Crescimbeni Vite degli Arcadi V, 206].  Member of the Academie Française (1704).  Auditor of the Rota (1706).  Archbishop of Auch (1726–1741).  In 1728 he was granted the Collar of the Order of the Holy Spirit.   Member of the Arcadian Academy [biography in Crescimbeni,  Vite degli illustri Arcadi V, 203-224]
  17. Benedetto Odescalchi Erba (aged 50) [Milan], Cardinal Priest of the Basilica SS. XII Apostoli (1725–1740). Archbishop of Milan (1712-1736).
  18. Damianus Hugo de Schönborn Buchaim (aged 53) [Germanus, born in Mainz, where his uncle was Elector], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria della Pace (1726–1743). Bishop of Speyer (1719-1743).
  19. Henri Thiard de Bissy (aged 72) [France], Cardinal Priest of Ss. Quirico e Giulitta (1721–1730).  Bishop of Meaux (Meldensis) (1705-1737).
  20. Innico Caracciolo (aged 87), Bishop of Aversa (1697-1730). Cardinal Priest of S. Tommaso in Parione (1716–1730).  Died September 6, 1730.
  21. Nicolò Gaetano Spinola (aged 71) [Genoese, but born and raised in Spain. Son of Giovanni Domenico, Conte di Pezzuola,.he was sent to Rome as a youth, and raised by his uncle, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Spinola]. Cardinal Priest of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo (1725–1735)  Auditor of the Apostolic Camera. Nuncio in Poland (1707-1715). Previously Clericus of the Apostolic Camera.
  22. Giberto Bartolomeo Borromeo [Milan]. Cardinal Priest of S. Alessio. Bishop of Novara (1717-1740), and titular Latin Patriarch of Antioch Syriae (1711-1717 and in commendam to 1740).  Praepositus cubiculae of Clement XI.  Protonotarius Apostolicus de numero participantium.  After the death of Clement XI, he retired to his diocese, which he administered, and collected books.
  23. Giulio Alberoni (aged 65) [Piacenza]. Cardinal Priest of S. Crisogono (1728–1740).  Died June 26, 1752.
  24. Giorgio Spinola (aged 62) [Genoa]. Cardinal Priest of S. Agnese fuori le mura (1721–1734), then Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina.  Benedict XIII had appointed him Legate in Bologna.  Former Apostolic Nuncio in Vienna (1713-1719). Nuncio to Poland (1710). Nuncio to the Duke of Florence.   Former Governor of Viterbo (1699), and before that Centumcellae. Died January 17, 1739.   His funeral monument is in S. Salvatore delle Coppelle [V. Forcella, Inscrizioni delle chiese di Roma  VIII, p. 506 no. 1176].
  25. Cornelio Bentivoglio de Aragonia (aged 61) [Ferrara]. Cardinal Priest of S. Cecilia (1727-1732)  Nuncio in France (1712-1715).
  26. Luis Antonio Belluga y Moncada (aged 67) [Spain]. Cardinal Priest of S. Prisca (1726–1737).
  27. Mihály Frigyes Althan (aged 47) [German], Cardinal Priest of S. Sabina (1720–1734). Bishop of Vác (1718-1734).
  28. Alvaro Cienfuegos Villazón, SJ, Cardinal Priest of S. Bartolomeo all’Isola (1721–1739).  Archbishop of Monreale (1725-1739).
  29. Bernardo Maria de' Conti, OSB.Cassin. (aged 66), son of Carlo, Duke of Poli, and Isabella Muti.  Cardinal Priest of S. Bernardo alle Terme (1721–1730); created June 16, 1721.  Major Penitentiary. Died during the Conclave on April 23, 1730, apparently of a stroke (apoplexy) [Guarnacci II, 396].  Brother of Innocent XIII. He entered the Monastery of St. Paul's a few days before his 16th birthday. After getting his training in philosophy and theology, he travelled several monasteries in the Po Valley, and settled finally in Parma, where his family had property. In 1700 he returned to Rome to the Monastery of S. Callisto, but was elected Prior of the monastery of his order in Assisi.  He was then elected Prior of his old Monastery of St. Paul's in Rome, and finally Abbot of Farfa.  In 1710 Clement XI named him Bishop of Terracina (Anxur) (1710-1720) [Gams, p. 732].  He resigned the bishopric, however, due to ill health, and retired to the home of his brother, the Duke of Poli. He was named Cardinal by his brother, and Protector of all the Order of St. Benedict.  He was given a seat on all of the Congregations of the Roman Curia.  He chose to reside in the Monastery of S. Bartolomeo all'Isola.
  30. Giovanni Battista de' Altieri (aged 56) [Roman]. Cardinal Priest of S. Matteo in Merulana (1724–1739). 
  31. Vincenzo Petra (aged 67) [Naples], Cardinal Priest of S. Onofrio (1724–1737).  Prefect of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide (1727-1747).
  32. Prospero Marefoschi (aged 76) [Macerata], Cardinal Priest of S. Silvestro in Capite (1728–1732). Vicar General of Rome (1726-1732).
  33. Niccolò Coscia (aged 49) [of Benevento], Cardinal Priest S. Maria in Domnica pro hac vice Title (1725–1755).  Archbishop of Benevento (1730-1731).  Died February 8, 1755.
  34. Angelo Maria Quirini, OSB.Cas. (aged 50) [Venice], Cardinal Priest of S. Marco (1728–1743). Archbishop-Bishop of Brescia (1727-1755).
  35. Niccolò Maria Lercari (aged 54) [Genoa], Cardinal Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo (1726–1743). Secretary of State (1726-1730).
  36. Prospero Lambertini (aged 55) [Bologna], Cardinal Priest of S. Croce in Gerusalemme (1728–1740). Archbishop-Bishop of Ancona (1727-1731); later Archbishop of Bologna (1731-1754) and Bishop of Rome (1740-1758)..
  37. Francesco Antonio Finy (aged 60) [Minerviensis]. Cardinal Priest of S. Sisto (1729–1738).
  38. Sigismund von Kollonitsch (aged 53) [German], Archbishop of Vienna (1722-1751).  Named a Cardinal Priest in November, 1727.
  39. Philip Ludwig von Sinzendorf (aged 30) [German], Bishop of Györ (1726-1732).  Cardinal Priest from November, 1727. Cardinal Priest of S. Maria sopra Minerva (1730–1747).
  40. Vincenzo Ludvico Gotti, OP. (aged 65) [Bologna]. Cardinal Priest of S. Pancrazio (1728–1738). He was a member of the Arcadian Academy [biography by Tomaso Agostino Ricchini, in Crescimbeni,  Vite degli illustri Arcadi V, 103-114]
  41. Leandro Porzia, OSB.Cas. (aged 56) [Foroiuliensis], Cardinal Priest of S. Callisto (1728–1740). Bishop of Bergamo.
  42. Pierluigi Carafa (aged 52)  [Naples]. Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Panisperna (1728–1737).
  43. Giuseppe Accoramboni (aged 57) [Spoleto], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Traspontina (1728–1740). Archbishop-Bishop of Imola (1728-1739).
  44. Camillo Cibo (aged 48) [Massa Carrara]. Cardinal Priest of S. Stefano al Monte Celio (1729–1731).  Died January 12, 1743.
  45. Francesco Scipione Borghese (aged 32)  [Roman]. Cardinal Pirest of S. Pietro in Montorio (1729–1732). Died June 21, 1759.
  46. Vincenzo Maria Ferreri, OP (aged 47)  [Niciensis], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Via (1729–1742).  Bishop of Vercelli (1729-1742).
  47. Alamanno Salviati (aged 60) [Florentinus]. Cardinal Priest without title; named Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Ara Coeli (1730–1733.) by the new Pope in July.

  48. Lorenzo de' Altieri (aged 58)  [Romanus]. Created Cardinal at the age of 19. Cardinal Deacon of S. Agata alla Suburra (1718–1730).  Died August 3, 1741. Cousin of Clement X, nephew of Cardinal Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni.
  49. Carlo Colonna (aged 64) [Romanus], son of Lorenzo, Duke of Paliano, Grand Constable of the Kingdom of Naples, Prince of Castiglione, etc.Grandee of Spain, First Class; and Maria Mancini.. Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria (1715–1730)
  50. Fabio Olivieri (aged 71) [Pesaro], Cardinal Deacon of SS. Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia (1715–1738). Secretary of Briefs.
  51. Carlo Marini (aged 63) [Genoa], Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Aquiro (1716–1738).  Legate in Romagna.
  52. Alessandro Albani (aged 37) [Urbino]. Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin (1722–1741).  Nephew of Pope Clement XI.  Protector of the Kingdom of Sardinia.  Imperial Agent and Co-Protector of the Empire (with Cardinal de Judice, until his death in 1725); Protector of the German-Hungarian College in Rome, Protector of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem,
  53. Alessandro Falconieri (aged 73) [Romanus]. Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria della Scala (1724–1734).
  54. Niccolò del Giudice (aged 69) [Naples].  Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria ad Martyres (1725–1743). Former Praefectus Sacri Palatii Apostolici.
  55. Antonio Banchieri (aged 63) [Pistoria]. Cardinal Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere (1728–1733)  Secretary of State of His Holiness (1730-1733).
  56. Carlo Collicola (aged 47) [Spoleto]. Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Portico (1728–1730)  Died October 20, 1730.

Cardinals not attending:

  1. Agostino Cusani (aged 84)  [Milan], Bishop of Pavia. Cardinal Priest of S. Maria del Popolo [created May 18, 1712]   Died December 27, 1730
  2. Nuno da Cunha e Ataïde [Portugal], son of Luis, Conte de Pavolide. Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia (1721–1750) [Created May 18, 1712, on the demand of King John V].   Doctor of Canon Law.  Bishop of Targa (1705-1712).   Inquisitor General in Portugal.
  3. Wolfgang Hannibal von Schrattembach (aged 69) [Germany], Cardinal Priest of S. Marcello [created May 18, 1712, at the request of the Emperor]  Bishop of Olomouc (1711-1738),
  4. Imre Csáky [Hungary], Cardinal Priest of S. Eusebio. His family claimed descent from an 8th century king of the Huns; his father Estvan was Regiae Curiae Judex in Hungary. Cardinal Priest without titulus (died August 28, 1732). Archbishop of Kalocsa and Bács in Hungary (1710-1732) [Gams, 372], previously bishop of Varadinum (Nagy-Várad) (1702), Abbot of Waradin (Várad);   Canon of Eger. Educated at the Collegium Romanum [Gams, 382]  [created July 12, 1717]
  5. Carlos de Borja-Centelles y Ponce de León (aged 66) [Spain], Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana (1721–1733); created November 29, 1719]  Patriarch of the West Indies (1708-1733).
  6. Léon Potier de Gesvres (aged 73) [France]. [created November 29, 1719, no title assigned]   Archbishop of Bourges (1694–1729).
  7. Thomas Philip Wallrad d'Hénin-Liétard d'Alsace-Boussu de Chimay (aged 50) [Netherlands], Cardinal Priest of S. Cesareo in Palatio pro hac vice Title (1721–1733). [created November 29, 1719].  Archbishop of Mechlin (1715-1759).
  8. José Pereira de la Cerda [Portugal], Cardinal Priest of S. Susanna (1721–1738); created November 29, 1719].  Bishop of Faro [Faraoniensis] (1716-1738).
  9. André Hercule de Fleury [France], Counselor of State of France. [created September 11, 1727]
  10. Diego de Astorga y Céspedes (aged 63) [Spain], Archbishop of Toledo (1720-1734). [created Cardinal on November 26, 1727]
  11. João da Motta e Silva [Portugal]. [created November 26, 1727]  Died October 4, 1747, without having visited Rome or received his red hat..



The Conclave of 1730 was long, contentious, and sometimes disgraceful. It lasted four and a half months. At the opening, on March 5, there were twenty-six cardinals in attendance; by the time of the election, there were fifty-six. The conclave was especially difficult because the many factions were small and not firmly fixed in their preferences. The Camerlengo, Cardinal Annibale Albani led the creature of Pope Innocent XI. His younger brother, Alessandro Albani, led a small party of "Savoyards" or "Sardinians". There was also an Imperial party (several of whose members, Schrattembach, Csaky, and d'Hénin-Liétard d'Alsace-Boussu de Chimay, did not attend), and a French party, allied with the Spanish. The Zelanti were ever present, but vacillated constantly in their voting patterns. In early voting, the fortunes of Cardinals Tommaso Ruffo (Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina), Antonio Felice Zondadari, and Antonio Banchieri (former Governor of Rome, and ex-Vice-Chancellor) rose and fell.


etching of Cardinal  Giuseppe Renato Imperialietching of Cardinal  Pietro CorradiniOn April 24, a courier arrived from Madrid, carrying the exclusiva to be used against Cardinal Giuseppe Renato Imperiali (Wahrmund, 226; portrait at left). When Cardinal Imperiali came within one vote of success, the Veto (exclusiva) was interposed by Cardinal Cornelio Bentivoglio in the name of the King of Spain. On June 11 Cardinal Gianantonio Davia of Bologna, Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli, obtained twenty-nine votes, but he could not reach the thirty-six votes needed to elect (Montor, 11).

On the 16th of June, Cardinal Pietro Marcellino Corradini [portrait at right], the pro-Datary of Benedict XIII, reached thirty votes (Montor, 11). Bentivoglio, who had already cast the Spanish Veto, announced that he and his Spanish-leaning colleagues would leave Rome if Corradini were to be elected. Cardinal Cienfuegos, who had instructions from the Emperor to exclude Corradini, set to work to overcome the distaste among the Imperialist faction against Cardinal Corsini as an alternative to Corradini.


Lorenzo Cardinal Corsini, aged seventy-nine, was finally chosen with fifty-two votes on July 12, taking the name Clement XII. He named Cardinal Banchieri as his Secretary of State on July 12. He was crowned in the Vatican Basilica on July 16, 1730, and on November 19, he took possession of the Lateran Basilica.




For the Conclave of 1730, see: Alexis Francois Artaud de Montor, Histoire des souverains pontifes (Paris 1851) 10-12. Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi della storia de' sommi pontefici da San Pietro sino al ... Pio Papa VII   third edition, Volume 13 (Roma 1822) 160-165. G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol. 14 (Venezia 1842) 71, in a strange act of self-censorship, is completely silent about the proceedings. Ferdinando Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Volume IV (Bruxelles 1864), 56-101.  


"Corrpspondenza Epistolare fra il Conte di Collalto Ambasciatore Imperiale Straordinario in Roma, ed il Conte Carlo Borromeo Plenipotenziario Imperiale in Italia, residente in Milano (1730),"  in  Felice Calvi, Curiosità storiche e diplomatiche del secolo decimottavo (Milano: Antonio Vallardi 1878), pp. 1-27.


Joannes Rudolphus ConlinRoma Sancta, sive Benedicti XIII. Pontificis Maximi et Eminentissimorum et Reverendissimorum S. R. E. Cardinalium viva virtutum imago ... qui ultimo conclavi anno 1724 interfuere, praeter eos qui a Sanctissimo Patre Benedicto XIII. neo-denominati fuere.... (Augustae Vindelicurum 1726).  Mario Guarnacci, Vitae et Res Gestae Pontificum Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalium a Clemente X usque ad Clementem XII   Tomus Secundus (Romae 1751).


For the career of Cardinal Lorenzo Corsini, see Luigi Passerini, Genealogia e storia della Famiglia Corsini (Firenze: M. Cellini 1858) 157-172. 


For Cardinal Coscia:   S. De Lucia, Il cardinal Niccolò Coscia (Benevento 1934).  G. De Antonellis, "Appunti intorno alla figura del card Niccolò Coscia," Samnium, XLIII (1970), 153-167.


On Cardinal Alberoni, see Charles Bertin, Dictionnaire des Cardinaux (1858) 205-208; . Alfonso Professione, Il ministero in Spagna e il processo del Cardinale Giulio Alberoni (Torino: Clausen 1897) 293-295.  P. Castagnoli, Il cardinale Giulio Alberoni   vols. I-III (Piacenza-Roma 1929-32).  S. Harcourt-Smith, Cardinal of Spain: The Life and Strange Career of Alberoni (1944)


P. Paul, Le Cardinal Melchior de Polignac (Paris, 1922).


'John Walton' was in fact a Prussian, Baron Philip de Stosch, who served as an espionage agent for the British Government (in particular Lord Newcastle, but also Sir Robert Walpole) in Rome: Martin Haile, James Francis Edward, the Old Chevalier (London: Dent 1907) 293-294.


An interesting 'popular' eyewitness account is given in a 'letter' of a visitor to Rome in 1730, Baron Charles-Louis de Pollnitz, The Memoirs of Charles-Lewis Baron de Pollnitz Volume II (London 1735), Letter XXVIII, pp. 13-22 (dated July 20, 1730).


W. S. Cartwright, On the Constitution of Papal Conclaves (Edinburgh 1878)


Ludwig Wahrmund , Das Ausschliessungs-recht (jus exclusivae) der katholischen Staaten Österreich, Frankreich und Spanien bei den Papstwahlen (Wien: Holder 1888) 238-239.

June 22, 2015 5:13 PM

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