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). He 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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
On 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, 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.
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.
'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.
© 2009 John Paul Adams, CSUN