SEDE VACANTE 1799-1800

(August 29,1799 — March 14, 1800)

Cardinal Braschi-Onesti, portrait
Cardinal Braschi-Onesti

Hyacinth Cardinal Gerdil, portraitCardinal Maury, the French king's agentCardinal Herzan, the Imperial representative
  Cardinal Gerdil                                       Cardinal Maury                                          Cardinal Herzan


Pius VI in Exile

The Certosa at Florence On February 20, 1798, Pope Pius VI (Braschi), who had been deposed as ruler of the Papal States (which had been organized into the Roman Republic by the French) was forced to leave the City of Rome, forever, as it turned out. In March, 1799, he was living in retirement in the Carthusian Monastery at Florence (the Foresteria of the Certosa at Galluzzo, built by Boccacio's friend, Niccolò Acciaiuoli, right), as a guest of the Tuscan Grand Duke. He was without most of his attendants, though Msgr. Ercole Consalvi had made his way there. The French intended to exile the Pope to the island of Sardinia [Baldassari,Histoire, 371-372; Artaud de Montor Histoire du Pape Pie VII, deuxième edition I (1837), p. 78], along with the royal family of Savoy, whom they had also deposed. Plans to rescue the Pope provoked the French authorities to order his deportation to France. The French had declared war on Tuscany, and a French army entered Florence on March 25, 1799. The Pope's protector, Ferdinand III of Tuscany, was deposed and expelled as well. On March 28, the Pope was removed by order of the French authorities, first to Parma, then to Turin, and then to Briançon, and finally to Valence (July 13, 1799). No cardinals were permitted to accompany him. He died in Valence on August 29, a prisoner of the Directory, whose Minister of Foreign Affairs was ex-Prince ex-Bishop Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord [cf. Artaud de Montor Histoire des Papes VIII, p. 417-418]. The Neapolitans took advantage of the fact of the absence of the Pope from Rome, and the removal of Austrian troops to the Po Valley, and occupied Rome on September 30, 1799.

While living in Florence, Pius had considered the problem of electing a successor while Rome was in the hands of his enemies. Rome had become the usual site of conclaves since 1431. But when the Pope died, there was no Camerlengo in office to supervise or finance the organization of a conclave. Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico, the incumbent under Pius VI, had died on January 26, 1799, and Pius had not appointed a successor.

Pius VI, however, had made plans. In February of 1797, as Bonaparte advanced upon Rome, he prepared (but never promulgated) a Brief suspending the time interval between the death of the Pope and the beginning of the Conclave [Baldassari, Relazione II, pp. 297-298; Cartwright, 85]. On December 30, 1797, after Rome was occupied by the French, he issued a Bull, Christi Ecclesiae Regendi, authorizing the Cardinals who were present at his death to put off the Conclave if grave dangers were threatening, and even to proceed to an immediate election if necessary [Baldassari, Relazione II, pp. 298-302; Cartwright, 86-87]. In the summer of 1798, after the fall of Malta on June 9, Cardinal Antonelli had visited the Pope secretly at the Certosa, and had impressed upon him the necessity of taking measures against a disputed election, attempted in various places, especially in Naples, by the dispersed cardinals [Ricard, Mémoires Maury, I p. 190-191; Cartwright, 92-93].   In a Constitution issued on November 13, 1798 [ Quum Nos, superiore anno : Baldassari, Relazione II, pp. 166-170], therefore, the Pope specified that the city where the largest number of cardinals was to be found at the time of his death was to be the scene of the subsequent election.  This constitution was based on materials prepared at Rome by Msgr. di Pietro and submitted by Msgr. Sala to the cardinals who had taken refuge in Venice [Baldassari, Histoire, 337-338; Ricard, Correspondence diplomatique et Mémoires inédits du Maury, p. 191 n.1].

The city of choice was not Rome. Some cardinals, including the Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Albani, had made for Naples, hoping to be free both of Austrian and French influence.  Albani himself held out hope for some time, however, of returning to Rome [Baldassari, Histoire, pp. 334-335]. Also in flight to Naples were Cardinals Busca, Flangini, Carafa, and Pignatelli [Baldassari, 333-334]. But when a democratic revolution there forced the King to retire to Sicily (December 29, 1798), the idea of a conclave in Naples in the Parthenopean Republic (January 23—June 17, 1799) became impossible. And when a monarchist counter-revolution brought the King back and turned the country over to an orgy of vengeance, presided over by Dionigio Cardinal Ruffo, the idea of holding a conclave there became distasteful [See: Cipolletta, 17-25; Cartwright, 90-91]. The cardinals actually asked Pius VI by letter his view of a conclave being held in Naples, and he replied with a negative. The situation was so grave, however, that the Pope dispensed the Cardinals from virtually all of the canonical rules for conducting a Sede Vacante [Artaud de Montor Histoire des Papes VIII, p. 344]. He even suspended the rule that Cardinals should not discuss the election of a new pope in the lifetime of a current pope (a rule that went back to Pope Symmachus in 499 A.D.):

Quum autem intelligamus quoque plurimum ac celeritatem electionis collaturum, si Cardinales ante obitum Nostrum consilia ineant inter se, deliberentque quaenam expeditior ratio qua et ea fieri quae a Nobis constituta sunt, et futuri Pontificis electio mature ac celeriter haberi possit, quumque apostolicae constitutiones gravissimis censuris eos affectos velint qui, vivente et inconsulto Pontifice, de successore eius eligendo sermones habere ac deliberare audent, ut in constitutione praesertim Pauli IV Quum secundum.     [Bullarium Romanum (Turin edition) 6, p. 545]


Flight and Exile of the Cardinals

Henry Stuart, Cardinal York, was one of those who had fled to Naples in February, 1798, ahead of the French invasion, and he stayed there for ten months. By July, 1798, a total of eleven cardinals had sought refuge in Neapolitan territory. But by then a French-inspired revolution broke out in Naples.  On December 21, 1798, two days ahead of the Royal Family, Cardinal York fled Naples for Messina, a trip which took twenty-three days due to storms. He was met there by Cardinals Pignatelli, Braschi and Doria. [Vaughan, 222-227]. After six weeks in Messina, the cardinals set out again, ultimately deciding for Venice, finally reaching safe harbor at the beginning of the summer of 1799.

Cardinal Stefano BorgiaAnother path to the Conclave can be seen in the experience of Cardinal Stefano Borgia. In the unrest in Rome after the death of General Duphot and before the Occupation by the French (1797-1798), Pius VI, having entrusted the security of the City to Cardinal Borgia, was removed from Rome on February 20, 1798. On March 8, Borgia and five other cardinals (Antonelli, Doria Pamphilij, Roverella, Della Somaglia and Carandini) were arrested [Sala I, 89-91]. They were temporarily incarcerated in the Monastero delle Convertite on the Corso, along with Monsignori Carlo Crivelli (Governor of Rome), Paride Giuseppe Giustiniani (Governor of Perugia), Angelo Altieri (Auditor of the Rota), Giulio Sperandini (Commissary of the Apostolic Chamber), and Paolo Vergani (Assessor of Finances). Two days later the cardinals were conveyed to Civitavecchia, where they were interned in the Dominican house there. On the 28th, the confinement was relaxed, and it was pointedly suggested to Borgia that he should leave the former Papal States. He made his way by sea to Livorno, where, with the aid of some friends and some Danish merchants, he was able to travel to Florence. He wanted to stay at Cortona, but the Tuscan government refused him permission. From Florence, therefore, he made his way to Bologna, then Ferrara, and finally Rovigo, where he came under the protection of the Austrian occupation forces. In Venice it was from another Dane, Frederik Munster, whom he had known in Rome, that Cardinal Borgia received welcome and aid. He finally took up residence in Padua, thanks to the generosity of Msgr. Arnaldo Speroni degli Alvaroni, OSB Cas., Bishop of Adria, where, through the latter part of 1798 and all of 1799, he attempted to set up a reconstituted Congregation de propaganda fide, with the consent of Cardinal Gerdil, and carry on his assignment as pro-Prefect. [Baraldi, 34-39].

Cardinal Jean-Suffrein Maury had left Rome early in March, 1798, on the urging of Pius VI. He was on a list of those to be arrested by the French occupation forces. On March 6 it was reported that he had left Siena, at the demand of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and that he was required to leave the Duchy entirely.  On March 16, General Berthier granted Maury a passport, on the demand of the Florentine Minister, the Marchese de Manfredini.  Maury immediately disappeared from French sight, but appeared again in Venice on April 17, 1798.  His benefices and properties in Tuscany were confiscated.   On August 12, 1798, King Louis XVIII wrote to him from Mittau, commissioning him to work for the assembling of a Conclave [Ricard, Mémoires Maury, I p. 188]:

... Je ne doute pas que les usurpateurs de mon autorité, qui ne négligent aucun moyen d' affermir leur tyrannie, n'essayent, et peut-être avec succès, de placer un intrus au Vatican, mais ce ne sera qu'un crime de plus, et nul catholique ne verra en lui le successeur de saint Pierre. Heureusement la plus grande partie du Sacré-Collège peut se rassembler en lieu sûr, et la piété de l'empereur d' Allemagne est trop connue pour craindre qu'il s'oppose à un rassemblement si nécessaire. La tenue du conclave sera orageuse.  Il est vraisemblable que le souverain, qui le protégera, voudra aussi influer sur son choix; quant à moi, ma confiance en vous vous est bien connue, et je vais m'expliquer sans réserve sur mon voeu, en m'en reposant entièrement sur votre zèle pour profiter de toutes les circonstances propres à le faire réussir....

As of March 8, 1798, therefore, there were only seven cardinals left in Rome: Rezzonico, Valenti, Gerdil, Archinto, Livizzani, Antici and Altieri [Baldassari, Histoire, 297-298; Sala I, 90-91]. Antici and Altieri abandoned the cardinalate entirely. Gerdil, after another pointed suggestion from the French, retired to Turin. Archinto was advised to retire to Milan. Livizzani left Rome on March 12 for his native Modena, where he was received by Pius VI in Modena on March 31, 1799 [Baldassari Relazione IV, 39]. Valenti Gonzaga retired to San Donnino in Savoy, where he was reunited briefly with Pius VI as he was being transferred from Parma to Turin [Baldassari Relazione IV, 60]. The same favor was not granted by the French guard to Cardinal Gerdil as Pius passed his retreat in Savoy. On March 9, St. Peter's Basilica was despoiled by French agents of its gold and silver. The objects were taken to the Mint, where they were melted down and minted into 8 million coins [Sala I, 92]. The looting of the Papacy had entered a new phase.

Cardinals Zelada, Lorenzana and Caprara also fled into Tuscany after the arrest of the Pope. Caprara found refuge in Bologna, the others in Florence, at least until the capture of the city by the French and the deposition of the Duke of Tuscany.

Monastery of S. Giorgio, Venice

Pius VI died, a prisoner of the French Directory, in the fortress at Valence, on August 29, 1799. He was eighty-one years old, and had occupied the throne of S. Peter for twenty-four years, six months, and fourteen days.  Among those present were Monsignor Diego_Innigo_Caracciolo di Martina, the papal Maestro di Camera (who became Pius VII's first cardinal), and Abbe Baldassari himself.   Baldassari [Relazione IV, pp. 279-281] provides the text of the autopsy, carried out on same day, 12 fructidor, Year VII of the French Republic, by the doctors Filippo Morelli, Bartolomeo Blein, and Louis Duchadoz; and in the presence of Angelo Saverio Vidal, and Henri Salomon Duvaure.  At the conclusion of the Novendiales the body was buried in a triple coffin beneath the chapel of the citadel [Moroni 53, 108].  Permission had been refused to return the body to Italy.  Caracciolo managed to reach Venice, but the Conclave had already begun.  Nonetheless, he was received by the Cardinals at the ruota of the entrance, and very highly praised by them [Cavadoni, p. 255].

After some considerable negotiation (carried on by the Nuncio in Vienna, Giuseppe Ruffo de Scilla, and the Ablegate, Giuseppe Albani, nephew of the Cardinal Dean). the Benedictine monastery of S. Giorgio in Venice was made available to Cardinal Gianfrancesco Albani, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, through the good offices of the Emperor Francis II in Vienna. He also agreed to finance the Conclave and guarantee its safety. Austria was at the time in possession of Venice—since the French defeat at the Trebbia and the Peace of Tolentino—and much of the Po Valley. Indeed, Austria held some of the territories of the Papal States, the "Three Legations" (Romagna), and was eager to have a pope who would not disturb their illegal occupation [Consalvi, Memoirs I, 238].  This was the reason why the Court of Vienna was so favorable to Cardinal Mattei, who had signed the Treaty of Tolentino on behalf of the Papacy. Imperial generosity at the time of the Conclave, therefore, was not entirely disinterested. The Court at Vienna let it be known that it would not favor Cardinals Busca, Caprara, Doria, Flangini, Gerdil (as too old), or York. This list was no secret; it was known to Lord Acton, the Neapolitan prime minister, before the Conclave ever got down to serious business [Cipolletta, 26-36].  This was not the exercise of the Veto, but an instance of taking maximum advantage of a favorable situation.  The result, however, was the same.  Cardinals not subservient to Vienna would not be welcome as papabili.


The College of Cardinals in 1799

An official list of the Cardinals and their Conclavists for the Conclave of 1799-1800 can be found in Barberi and Segreti (editors), Bullarii Romani Continuatio Tomus Decimus Quintus (Romae 1846), pp. 10-12; a list of the Cardinals and their dapiferi can be found at pp. 18-19.  There were four Cardinal Bishops, twenty-five Cardinal Priests, and six Cardinal Deacons at the Conclave. A list of the living cardinals is given by Giovanni Berthelet (pp. 12-13).  Cardinal Herzan mentions that the total number of cardinals present at the Conclave was 35 [Duerm, p. 234].   Cardinal Consalvi says the same thing in his Memoirs, p. 216 (second edition, p. 233), and provides a list.   One cardinal, Jozsef Cardinal von Batthyáni died in Pressburg on September 22, 1799, at the start of the Sede Vacante, reducing the number of living cardinals to forty-five. Twenty-four votes were needed to elect.

Cardinals attending:

  1. Gianfrancesco Albani (aged 79) [Romanus] nephew of Cardinal Annibale Albani (Protector of Poland), who procured his promotion to the cardinalate on the nomination of King Augustus III of Poland, Suburbicarian Bishop of Ostia e Velletri. Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals (died September 15, 1803). His nephew, Giovanni Albani, was papal Ablegate in Vienna.   His chosen candidate was Cardinal Gerdil, and then Henry Stuart [Duerm, p. 63].  Maury remarks, on December 28, that he was supporting of Bellisomi.  Herzan believed that Albani wanted to be pope himself [Duerm, p. 195].
  2. Henry Benedict Mary Clement Stuart (aged 74) [Romanus], Suburbicarian Bishop of Frascati.  Vice-Chancellor S.R.E. (1763-1807)   "Cardinal York"   (died July 13, 1807).
  3. Leonardo Antonelli (60) [Senigaglia], Suburbicarian Bishop of Palestrina (1794–1800).  He had been the Secretary of the Conclave of 1758.  He was Pius VI's first cardinal. Prefect of the Tribunal of the Signatura (1795-1811).  He had been an opponent of the Treaty of Tolentino (died January 23, 1811).  He was working with Herzan on behalf of Mattei.
  4. Luigi Valenti Gonzaga (aged 74), Suburbicarian Bishop of Albano (1795–1807).  Former Nuncio in Spain (died December 29, 1808). Spain's preferred candidate at the Conclave.

  5. Francesco Carafa della Spina di Traietto (77), Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (died September 20, 1818) .
  6. Francesco Saverio de Zelada (aged 82), Cardinal Priest of S. Prassede  He had been influential, and a friend of the Jesuits, in the election of Pius VI in 1774 (died December 19, 1801) .
  7. Guido Calcagnini (aged 74), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Traspontina (1776–1807) Bishop of Osimo (1776–1807).   (died August 27, 1807).
  8. Bernardino Honorati (aged 75) [Jesi], Cardinal Priest of SS. Marcellino e Pietro  (1777–1807). Bishop of Senigallia (1777–1807).  (died August 12, 1807).
  9. Andrea Gioannetti, OSB Camald. (aged 77) [Bologna], Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana (1778.03.30 – 1800).  Administrator, then Archbishop of Bologna (1776–1800).  (died April 8, 1800)

    medal of Card.Gioanetti

  10. Hyacinthe Sigismond Gerdil, CRSP (aged 81) [Samoëns, Diocese of Geneva, Savoy], Cardinal Priest of S. Cecilia (1784–1802). Professor of Philosophy, University of Turin. Once the tutor of Charles Emmanuel IV, King of Sardinia. Prefect of the SC de propaganda fide (1795–1802). At the time of the death of Pius VI he was living in exile in Carignano.  He arrived in Venice on October 21, 1799 [P. Vachoux (ed.) Extraits inédits de la Correspondence et des manuscrits du Cardinal Gerdil (Annecy 1867), p. 9]   (died August 12, 1802). Consalvi, Mémoires (1864), p. 236-241 [second edition , pp. 253-256], alleges that Gerdil was eager to become pope; his editor, Cretineau-Joly obtained a denial of it from the Barnabites in Rome.
  11. Carlo Giuseppe Filippo di Martiniana (aged 75), Cardinal Priest of S. Callisto.   Bishop of Vercelli (1779–1802).   (died December 7, 1802).
  12. František de Paula Hrzán z Harras (aged 44) [Prague]; his grand-uncle had been Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg.  Cardinal Priest of S. Croce in Gerusalemme  (1788–1804).   Doctor of Theology (Gregorian, Rome).  Doctor of Laws. He had been the Imperial Ambassador at the papal court for nineteen years (from 1780). (died June 1, 1804).
  13. Alessandro Mattei (aged 54) [Romanus], eldest son of Principe Girolamo, Duke of Giove. Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Ara Coeli (1786–1800). Archbishop of Ferrara (1777–1800).  Nephew of Cardinal Albani, the Dean.  He had signed the Treaty of Tolentino along with Napoleon Bonaparte in February, 1798 (died April 20, 1820).
  14. Gianandrea Archetti (aged 68), Cardinal Priest of S. Eusebio (1785–1800).   Archbishop-Bishop of Ascoli (1795–1805).    (died November 5, 1805).
  15. Giuseppe Maria Doria-Pamphilj (aged 48) [Naples],  son of Prince Giovanni Andrea.  Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli.  Nuncio in Madrid. Nuncio in Paris. Secretary of State (1797-1799).   He was one of the five "cardinaux rouges" who tried to wring concessions from Pius VII on the demand of Napoleon (died February 10, 1816) .
  16. Gregorio Barnaba Chiaramonti, OSB Cassin. (aged 57) [Cesena], Cardinal Priest of S. Callisto (1785–1800). Former Bishop of Tivoli.  Bishop of Imola (1785–1816), in succession to Pius VI's uncle, Cardinal Bandi.  A creatura of the Braschi (died as Bishop of Rome, August 20, 1823).
  17. Carlo Bellisomi (aged 63) [Pavia], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria della Pace (1795–1807).  Nuncio in Cologne, to deal with "Febronius". Nuncio in Portugal (1785-1795)   Archbishop-Bishop of Cesena (1795).  He left Rome immediately after his "election", and had been living in his diocese. Doctor in utroque iure, Pavia   (died August 9, 1808).
  18. Carlo Livizzani Forni (aged 77) [Modena], Cardinal Priest of S. Silvestro in Capite (1794–1802).  His brother had been a Jesuit. In his youth in the 1750s he had been the lover of Princess Chigi, the sister of Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Albani [Boutry, Choiseul à Rome, p. 290] (died July 1, 1802) .  Both the list of Conclavists and the list of Dapiferi show Cardinal Livizzani as having been present at the Conclave [Bullarii Romani Continuatio 15 (1846), p. 11 and p. 19; see also Cardinal Herzan's list of factions: Duerm, p. 84]  Maury's list of Cardinals in Venice on October 12 also lists Livizzani [Ricard, Correspondence diplomatique et mémoires inédits du Cardinal Maury I, 227-228].
  19. Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana (aged 77) [Leon, Spain], Cardinal without titulus from 1789. Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli (1797–1804). Doctor in utroque iure (Avila, then Salamanca).  Former Bishop of Plasencia (1765), and Archbishop of Mexico (1766). Archbishop of Toledo (1772–1800). Grand Inquisitor of Spain (1794-1797).   He followed Pius VI into exile in 1798-1799 [Baldassari Relazione III, 239, 261; IV, 15, 22, 41] as far as Parma, acting as Minister of the King of Spain [Baldassare IV, 47, 53]. There he was arrested by the Revolutionaries [Ricard, Correspondence diplomatique et mémoires inédits du Cardinal Maury, 215 n.].  He raised 80,000 Roman scudi for the expenses of the Conclave from the bishops of Spain [Ricard, p. 214].  The voice of Spain in the Conclave, Lorenzana was being supported by the Patriarch of Antioch, Msgr. Antonio Despuig, the Spanish agent at the Roman Court.  Baldassari [Relazione, II, p. 250] indicates that he, Despuig and Muzquiz (the Queen's confessor) had been sent on an embassy to Pius VI by the First Minister Manuel Godoy in 1797 as a way of sending them into honorable exile.  He resigned the Archbishopric of Toledo in 1800, in favor of the Infante Luis de Borbon.  (died April 17, 1804).
  20. Ignazio Busca (aged 68), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria degli Angeli (1795–1803).  Doctor in utroque iure, Rome (La Sapienza).  Nuncio in Bruxelles (1775-1785). Former Governor of Rome. Former Secretary of State (1796-1797).  (died August 12, 1803).
  21. Stefano Borgia (aged 68), Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente (1789–1804).  Secretary of the  SC de propaganda fide (from 1770-1789), Pro-Prefect of the SC de propaganda fide (1798-1800).   (died November 23, 1804) .
  22. Giovanni Battista Caprara (66) [Bologna], son of Marquis Raimondo Montecuccoli.  Cardinal Priest of S. Onofrio (1794–1810). Doctor in utroque iure (Roma, La Sapienza).  Former Nuncio to Cologne (1767-1775).  Former Nuncio in Lucerne (1775-1785).  Former Nuncio to Austria and to Hungary (1785-1792).  Pius VI refused to receive him during his brief stop in Bologna on his way to Pavia, apparently because he was dissatisfied with his term as Nuncio in Vienna (especially his handling of his role at the Diet of Frankfurt in 1790), and because he spent all of his time playing secular politics [Baldassari Relazione IV, 25-26].    (died June 21, 1810).
  23. Antonio Dugnani (aged 51) [Milan], Cardinal Priest of S. Giovanni a Porta Latina (1794–1801).  Former Nuncio in France (1785-1791). (died October 17, 1818). Doctor in utroque iure, Pavia
  24. Ippolito Vincenti-Mareri (aged 61) [Rieti], Cardinal Priest of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo (1795–1807).  (died March 21, 1811). Doctor in utroque iure, Rome (La Sapienza). A supporter of Mattei.
  25. Jean-Siffrein Maury (53) [French, Valréas, Comtat Venaissin], Cardinal Priest of Santissima Trinità al Monte Pincio (1794–1817). Member of the Estates General in 1789, and of the National Assembly that followed.  He refused to swear the Constitutional oath of the Clergy, and was ejected from the Bishopric of Paris.  Pius VI made him Bishop of Montefiascone e Corneto (1794–1816) instead.   (died May 10, 1817).
  26. Giambattista Bussi de Pretis (aged 78) [Urbino], Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Panisperna (1794–1800).  Doctor in utroque iure, Urbino.   Governor of Narni (1748); Governor of S. Severino (1754);  Governor of Benevento; Governor of Spoleto (1758); Governor of Ascoli (1762); Governor of Ancona (1764); Governor of Civitavecchia (1765); Governor of Frosinone (1766).  Made a presidente of the Apostolic Camera in 1771, and a Cleric of the Apostolic Camera in 1776.  In order to be a cleric, he was ordained to the Subdiaconate on December  23, 1775. Presidente delle strade in the Apostolic Camera (1778-1785); Dean of the Apostolic Camera (1785).  Bishop of Jesi (1794–1800).    Essentially a civilian municipal administrator, his retirement award at the age of 73 was a cardinalate and a bishopric (February 21, 1794).  He was ordained a priest on April 13, 1794, and consecrated bishop on April 27, 1794, by Cardinal Henry Benedict Mary Stuart. He was given seats on the SC Council, SC Immunità (a congregation founded on June 22, 1622, by Urban VIII, taking over tasks previously dealt with by the SC on Bishops (founded by Sixtus V on January 22, 1588), Buon Governo, and SC Consulta.   He died in Jesi on June 27, 1800, and was buried in the Cathedral of Jesi.
  27. Francesco Maria Pignatelli (aged 55) [Rosarno, Calabria], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria del Popolo (1794–1800).   (died August 14, 1815).
  28. Aurelio Roverella (aged 51) [Cesena, of Ferrarese origin], Cardinal Priest of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo (1794–1809).  Pro-Datary (1795–1812).   (died September 6, 1812) .
  29. Giulio Maria della Somaglia (aged 55) [Piacenza], Cardinal Priest of S. Sabina (1795–1801). Doctor in utroque iure, Rome (La Sapienza).   Vicar-General of Rome (1795-1818). (died April 2, 1830)

  30. Antonmaria Doria-Pamphilj (aged 50), Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria ad Martyres (1789–1800).  Cardinal Protodeacon. Doctor in utroque iure, Rome (La Sapienza).   (died January 31, 1821).
  31. Romualdo Braschi-Onesti (aged 46), Cardinal Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere (1787–1800).  Grand Prior of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Rome.  Nephew of Pius VI.  Secretary of Briefs. (died April 30, 1817).  His candidate in the Conclave was Cardinal Bellisomi.
  32. Filippo Carandini (aged 70), Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachio (1794–1810).  (died August 28, 1810).
  33. Ludovico Flangini Giovanelli (aged 66), Cardinal Deacon of S. Agata alla Suburra   (1794–1800).   (died February 29, 1804).  Chiaramonti told Herzan that Flangini was under suspicion at the Holy Office, allegedly because the was a Freemason [Duerm, p. 234].
  34. Fabrizio Dionigi Ruffo (aged 55) [Naples], Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria (1794–1800).    Doctor in utroque iure (Rome, La Sapienza).  Former Treasurer of the Apostolic Camera (1785-1795).  (died December 13, 1827).  Vicar General of the Kingdom of Naples.   He insisted that he had no instructions from the Court of Naples [Herzan to Thugut, January 2, 1800: Duerm, p. 72].  He supported Mattei and then Valenti, according to Herzan.
  35. Giovanni Rinuccini (aged 56) [Florentinus], Cardinal Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro (1794–1801).  Vice-Legate of Bologna (1775);  Governor of Rome and vice-Chamberlain (1789); (died December 28, 1801).

Cardinals not attending:

  1. Christoph Anton von Migazzi von Waal und Sonnenthurn (aged 85), Cardinal Priest without titulus (1761-1775). After the Conclave of 1774-1775 he was made Cardinal Priest of SS. Quattro Coronati (1775-1803) by Pius VI. (died April 14, 1803).  Doctor in utroque iure (Rome, La Sapienza)   Archbishop of Vienna (1757-1803).
  2. Dominique de La Rochefoucald (87) [French], Cardinal Priest without titulus.   Archbishop of Rouen (1759–1800).   He was living in exile in Münster, having refused to accept the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. (died September 23, 1800).
  3. Johann Heinrich von Frankenberg (aged 73), Cardinal Priest without titulus.  Archbishop of Mechlin (1759–1802).  He had refused an oath to the French Constitution, was expelled from the Netherlands, then from Emmerich, in the Duchy of Cleves. He was living in exile in the Diocese of Münster.  His Biography (Deutsche Biographie).  Arthur Verhaegen, Le cardinal de Franckenberg, archéveque de Malines (1726-1804) (Bruges 1891).     (died June 11, 1804).
  4. Louis-René-Eduard de Rohan-Guéménée (aged 65) [French], Cardinal Priest without titulus. Archbishop of Strasbourg (1779–1801).  He fled from Strasbourg to Ettenheim, one of his estates in German territory, where he received the non-juring clergy of France (died February 16, 1803)  [Le Roy de Sainte-Croix, Les quatre Cardinaux de Rohan (Strasbourg 1880) 81-190].
  5. Giuseppe Maria Capece Zurlo (aged 88), Theat. [Naples], Cardinal Priest of S. Bernardo alle Terme (1783–1801).   Archbishop of Naples (1782–1801).   (died December 31, 1801).
  6. Vicenzo Ranuzzi (aged 73) [Bologna], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria sopra Minerva (died October 27, 1800). Bishop of Ancona e Numana
  7. Muzio Gallo (aged 78) [Osimo], Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia (died December 13, 1801). Bishop of Viterbo.
  8. José Francisco de Mendoça (aged 74), son of the Count of Valle de Reis.  Doctor of Canon Law (Coimbra). Cardinal Priest without titulus.   Patriarch of Lisbon (1788–1808); consecrated by his brother John, the Bishop of Porto.    (died February 11, 1808).
  9. Antonio de Sentmenat y Castella (aged 65), Cardinal Priest without titulus.  Patriarch of the Western Indies (1784–1806).  Doctor of Canon Law    (died April 14, 1806)
  10. Louis-Joseph de Laval-Montmorency (aged 75) [French], Cardinal Priest without titulus (died June 17, 1808). Surviving in exile, in Altona.

Some Cardinals: October

Monsignor Ercole Consalvi, Auditor of the Rota, was already in Venice on October 8, when, under the direction of Cardinal Albani, he wrote a letter as pro-Secretary of the Sacred College to the Emperor Paul II of Russia, and another to the Emperor in Vienna [Duerm, pp. 14-17].  By October 12, there were twenty-three cardinals assembled in Venice, according to Cardinal Maury [Ricard, Correspondence diplomatique et mémoires inédits du Cardinal Maury I, 227-228]: Albani, York, Antonelli, Valenti, Carafa, Zelada, Calcagnini, Mattei Archetti, Joseph Doria, Livizzani, Borgia, Caprara, Vincenti, Maury, Pignatelli, Roverella, Somaglia, Antonio Doria, Braschi, Carandini, Flangini and Rinuccini.  On October 19, 1799, Romualdo Cardinal Braschi-Onesti assumed the functions of the Camerlengo during the Sede Vacante, being the late pope's nephew (He was not, however, appointed Camerlengo until after the Conclave, when Pius VII issued an Apostolic Brief of appointment on October 30, 1800). The Papal Master of Ceremonies at the beginning of the Conclave was Msgr. Giuseppe Dini, but regrettably he died on November 2, 1799 [Consalvi, Memoires I, pp. 217-218; Moroni, 41, 180; Baldassari, 235]. His successor was Msgr. Giovanni Domenico Pacini.

The traditional novendiales were held for the dead pope. Each Cardinal was summoned by the Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Albani, to the opening Mass on October 23 [Analecta Iuris Pontificii 1160]:

Du Patriarcat, 22 octobre, 1799. Le cardinal-doyen a l' honneur d' annoncer à V(ôtre) E(minence) que, demain mercredi courant, on commencera les novendiales pour les obsèques de Pie VI, de sainte mémoire. V. E. voudra donc bien se rendre, demain matin, dans l'appartement patriarcal, 2 heures et demie avant midi, pour descendre ensuite en chappe, dans l'eglise pour lal fonction. Et, en attendant, le cardinal écrivant baise homblement les mains à V. E. avec le plus profond respect.

Cardinal Maury noted the first day of the Novendiales in a letter to Louis XVIII (October 19, 1799) in his Memoires [Ricard I, 242]:

Nous commencerons mercredi 23 dans l'église patriarcale de Venise les Novendiali, qui consistent en une grand'messe et une absoute solennelle tous les matins durant neuf jours.  Nous y assisterons au nombre de 23 cardinaux.  I n'y en a jamais eu à Rome un pareil nombre dans ces cérémonies, parce que les absents n'avaient pas le temps de s'y rendre.

He also remarks that he had been visited by Archbishop Antonio Despuig, the Latin Patriarch of Antioch, the Spanish representative outside the Conclave, who pointed out to him that a new pope was not recognized in Spain until the King had proclaimed his election.  Maury believed that the Spanish were fore-arming themselves against the "election" in Rome of somebody intrusive (by the French or the Neapolitans).  On the other hand, Despuig was the source of the funds to carry out the Novendiales in Venice [Beccatini, Storia di Pio VI  (1841) IV, p. 407], and was respected both by Cardinal Herzan and Cardinal Maury.  Maury expressed a belief that the Conclave might last a month or six weeks.   The ceremonies of the Novendiales concluded on October 31.  The Funeral Oration for Pius VI was pronounced by Msgr. Cesare Brancadoro, Archbishop of Nisibis, in the Basilica of S. Marco [Pii VI. Pont. Max. Acta quibus Ecclesiae Catholicae calamitatibus in Gallia consultum est   Vol II , pp. 261-286].  Cardinal Maury (the only French cardinal at the conclave) wrote to Louis XVIII on October 26, 1799 that there was a radical party ("le parti des Jacobins") forming among the cardinals; he names Cardinals Zelada, Caprara, the two Dorias, Roverella, Vincenti, Dugnani and Rinuccini.

There were also two ex-Cardinals alive at the time of the Conclave, Vincenzo Maria Altieri (aged 75) and Tommaso Antici, Minister of Bavaria before the Holy See (aged 68; died 1812).  In March 1798, allegedly under threat from the new Roman Republic (or from French agents) to confiscate his property and arrest him, Cardinal Altieri wrote to Pope Pius VI expressing a desire to resign from his Cardinalate on the grounds of advancing age, failing mental powers, and "ill health". Pius sent him a letter, asking him not to set a bad example by his faint-heartedness, but before the letter reached the Cardinal, Altieri sent another letter to the Pope containing an absolute renunciation of his Cardinalate (March 12, 1798).  Cardinal Antici had also submitted a renunciation to the Pope, on March 6, ob assiduam corporis invaletudinem [Ricard, Correspondence diplomatique et mémoires inédits du Cardinal Maury I, 230-231]. Pius refused to consider either resignation, and advised them to consider the consequences in terms of their right to vote in the next Conclave. On September 7, 1798, Pope Pius issued two briefs, acknowledging their resignations (statuerimus abdicationem nunc a nobis esse admittendum) and stripping the two cardinals of all their rights and privileges, including the right to vote in the next Conclave (ac praesertim vocis activae et passivae in electione Summi Pontificis vere spoliatum)  [Pii VI. Pont. Max. Acta quibus Ecclesiae Catholicae calamitatibus in Gallia consultum est   Vol II, pp. 174-177; Baldassari Relazione, III, pp. 124-128]. On February 8, 1800, when the Conclave was under way, Altieri sent a letter to the Dean of the College of Cardinals, expressing regret for his renunciation [Baldassari, Histoire 584-585]. Altieri died two days later, on February 10. Ex-Cardinal Antici made no such attempt in 1799-1800 [Cartwright, 141-143; Baldassari, Histoire, 295-308]. He did, however, attempt to make his peace with Pius VII, in a letter written at Recanati, his place of retirement, on September 13, 1811 [Pii VI. Pont. Max. Acta quibus Ecclesiae Catholicae calamitatibus in Gallia consultum est   Vol II, pp. 257-258]: coram Sanctitate Vestra solemniter condemno errorem meum et indebitum timorem, qui me ad errandum impulit. Eius veniam peto a Deo, a sacro Cardinalium Collegio, ab universis Christifidelibus.


At Venice: November

By November 2, 1799, there were thirty-three cardinals assembled in Venice [Maury, letter to Louis XVIII of November 2; p. 248]. Maury believed that they were dividing up into two factions, one supporting the seventy-eight year-old Cardinal Giovanni Andrea Archetti, a successful papal diplomat in Poland and Russia; and the other favoring Giacinto Cardinal Gerdil (who, Maury believed, was the first choice of the Spanish), though he was already eighty-two years old [see also Maury's letter of November 16, p. 254; Duerm, p. 40]. The voting tallies indicate that Maury was quite wrong about the strength of these early favorites. Gerdil reached his maximum of fourteen votes on the morning of December 19, and quickly faded from favor;  he was not vetoed by Cardinal Herzan, who was eagerly trying to extract the power of the exclusiva from Vienna, and had not yet received it. Archetti never had more than two votes. Maury reports as heresay that the Spanish were secretly supporting the candidacy of the seventy-eight year-old Andrea Cardinal Giovanetti, Archbishop of Bologna. There were forty-six cardinals at the time of Pope Pius VI's death, but due to the difficulties of the times only thirty-five were able to assemble in Venice for the Conclave [Maury, writing on the eve of the opening, pp. 260-261]. The ceremonies began on November 30, 1799.   On December 1, Cardinal Albani, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, pronounced an oration pro electione futuri summi pontificis in the Conclave chapel at the Monastery of S. Giorgio major.

Also unable to reach Venice was the secretary of the College of Cardinals and Secretary of the Consistorial Congregation, Msgr. Pietro Maria Negroni (detained in Rome due to the revolution that brought into being the First Roman Republic, the Austrian occupation, and then the Neapolitan occupation), who would have served as Secretary of the Conclave. In his place, a pro-Secretary was elected by the cardinals, Msgr. Ercole Consalvi, Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota and Protonotary Apostolic, a protege of Henry Stuart, Cardinal York. Consalvi had also been Auditor, and the only cleric, at the new Military Congregation, (Fischer, 20), presided over by the Commanding General of the Papal Army. The Dean of the Sacred College, Giovanni Francesco Cardinal Albani, presided at the Conclave. Prince Chigi was the Marshal of the Holy Roman Church. Msgr. Marino Carafa di Belvedere was the Majordomo of His Holiness and Governor of the conclave; he had followed Pius VI to Florence and to France.

The Austrian:  December

The Austrian representative, Cardinal Franz von Herzan finally reached Venice on December 10, after a harrowing journey made very difficult by continual rain and lack of horses at the relay stations. He had had to wait for necessary supplies and proper costumes for himself and for his conclavists to be acquired, and only entered Conclave on December 12.  While he was waiting, he had several long conversations with Msgr. Antonio Despuig, Patriarch of Antioch and former Archbishop of Seville (who became a cardinal in 1803)—who shared the "secret" of the Spanish Court along with Cardinal Lorenzana, the Archbishop of Toledo.  The Spanish were going to support Cardinal Valenti, but Cardinal Mattei was also acceptable.  Herzan himself brought with him both general and secret instructions from the Austrian Court, issued on November 26 [Duerm, pp. 26-31; Parsons, 7-8]

Secret instructions in reference to the future pontifical election, given to His Eminence the Father in God, Francis S.R.E. Cardinal Herzan, Count de Harras of the Holy Roman Empire, Grand-Cross of the Royal Hungarian Order of St. Stephen, Our Active Privy Councillor and Bishop-Elect of Stein (Szombathely).... We oppose most seriously the election of any cardinal from the dominions of Spain, Sardinia, Naples, or Genoa; or of any cardinal who has given proofs of devotion to the interests of any one of the three crowns here mentioned.... We extend our exception to all cardinals of French origin, and to all those who have shown any disposition to espouse the cause of France.... In a most special manner we formally and absolutely exclude the cardinals Gerdil, Caprara, Antonelli, Maury, and those of the Doria family.... Our paternal heart discerns only two cardinals whose qualifications promise a capability to encounter present difficulties; it is our duty to name them, and we enjoin on the Cardinal to display the greatest activity in their favor. In the first place stands Cardinal Mattei, in whom we place more confidence than in any other. We cannot understand how the cardinals could at all reasonably oppose his election. However, if in the course of the Conclave it shall be seen that all our endeavors for the election of Mattei will have been in vain, then we inform the Cardinal provisorially and confidentially that our second choice is solely Cardinal Valenti [Luigi Valenti Gonzaga].

Archbishop Ruffo, the papal Nuncio in Vienna, however, wrote on December 11, 1799, to Msgr. Consalvi, demonstrating that the Secret Instructions were no secret at all  [Duerm, pp. 36 n.1]:

S. M. Cesarea nell' udienza di questa mattina mi ha espresso il desiderio di sentire presto l' elezione del papa: ha commendato meritamente l' Em. Mattei; e vado a credere che le Instruzioni date al Sig.r cardinale Herzan riguardino il degno porporato.

Naturally, Cardinal Herzan would pay no attention to the principle of enclosure or the oath of secrecy pertaining to the Conclave.  His Emperor, Franz II, instructed him [Duerm, p. 31]:

Il s'agit de la recommandation d'entretenir avec Nous une correspondance suivie, dans laquelle il Nous donnera, sur les dispositions des personnes et sur la tournure des événements, une relation très exacte ainsi que ses propres appréciations à ce sujet.

In a letter to King Louis XVIII of December 14, 1799, Cardinal Maury noted that Cardinal Herzan, the Austrian Emperor's agent, had arrived, and also mentioned his own belief that he had uncovered a scheme in which Cardinal Braschi was involved to make Cardinal Luigi Gonzaga-Valenti ( who was favored by the Spanish) pope, with the office of Secretary of State going to Cardinal Ignacio Busca. Maury continued, however, to cast his vote for Cardinal Bernardino Honorati, at least until December 21, believing that Braschi had lost his senses. The Neapolitans, who were in occupation of Rome, constituted another factor: they were wary of any candidate favored by the Emperor in Vienna, for fear that this would lead to their ejection from the Papal States.


Bellisomi and Mattei

By December 18, Herzan had received indications of support for his activities from Cardinals York (Henry Stuart), Flangini and Dugnani.  In a consultation with Cardinal Braschi, he learned that, although Braschi was willing to support Vienna's first choice for the papacy, Cardinal Mattei, he envisaged more difficulties than Herzan could imagine. He also thought that the choice could fall on Cardinal Bellisomi [Duerm, p. 46].  This last remark was made at the time when, on the afternoon Scrutiny of December 17, Bellisomi's support suddenly doubled (from 6 to 12), and he had a total of 18 votes at the accessio [Duerm, p. 49—One must use Herzan's numbers with caution; his reports to Vienna are not always accurate]. Braschi was not being clairvoyant; he was merely stating the obvious.  Braschi informed Herzan confidentially that he had taken soundings and found that three cardinals were rallying to Albani, four to Antonelli, nine to Valenti, nine to Gerdil, seven to Mattei and sixteen to Bellisomi.  He believed that Bellisomi was only one vote short of election [Duerm, p. 51].   Herzan states that in the morning Scrutiny of December 18 Cardinal Mattei received only one single vote [Duerm, p. 48]; that is untrue. Cardinal Gerdil noted that Mattei had 5 in the Scrutiny on the morning of the 17th, 4 on the afternoon of the 17th, and 3 on the morning of the 18th.   In any case Herzan wanted to know from Vienna whether Bellisomi would be acceptable, if Mattei and Valenti failed to win sufficient support.

On the afternoon of December 18, according to Herzan [Duerm, p. 50],  Bellisomi had sixteen votes, Valenti 5, and Mattei 5 (Gerdil reports 17, 5, and 5).  After the Scrutiny, Cardinal Lorenzana requested and received a private interview with Herzan.  His purpose was to solicit Herzan on behalf of Cardinal Valenti, the Spanish Court's first choice—he was not privy to Herzan's Instructions or activities.  Herzan, of course, already knew of Lorenzana's loyalties, thanks to Archbishop Despuig [Duerm, p. 50].  Valenti, of course, was Vienna's second choice, but only if Mattei was unable to succeed in being elected.  Herzan, therefore, was not yet ready to throw his support behind Valenti.

As for Bellisomi's candidacy, Herzan asked the cardinals for a delay of eleven or twelve days, until he received a reply to his inquiry of Vienna as to Bellisomi's acceptability, which was granted by the Dean, Cardinal Albani—a fatal mistake for the candidacy of Bellisomi. As Consalvi put it in his Memoirs:

Alors Herzan se voyant acculé au pied du mur, et n’ayant pas en réalité l’exclusive de sa cour contre Bellisomi, puisqu’il devait seulement favoriser par son zèle l’élection de Mattei et empécher n’importe quelle autre, chercha à gagner du temps.... Herzan répondit au cardinal Albani qu’il n’avait pas l’ordre de signifier l’exclusive contre Bellisomi, tout en sachant que l’élection de Mattei aurait été infiniment plus agréable à Sa Majesté; que puisque celle·ci ne pouvait réussir et qu’il n’avait pas le pouvoir d’empécher l’autre, comme cardinal très-attaché au Saint-Siège et à ses intérêts, il croyait au moins devoir conseiller et supplier mème, s’il le fallait, tant, disait·il, était manifeste l’importance de cette affaire, de différer pendant onze ou douze jours l’élection de Bellisomi; que ce laps de temps suffirait pour permettre à un courrier qu’il allait expédier à l’Empereur de se rendre à Vienne et d’en revenir....

But Herzan also used the time to build a faction.  In his own view, he was working to obtain, according to his Secret Instructions, votes for Mattei or Valenti, for he had promised not to create an anti-Bellisomi faction in the interval (as Consalvi noted in his Memoirs, I, 237-246).  He managed to acquire around 19 solid votes, which sometimes rose to 21; he had in fact brought together the votes which would be able to impose a virtual exclusiva.  The voting continued, morning and afternoon, but Bellisomi's votes had settled at around 19. Mattei's rose as high as 15.  Cardinal Antonelli was helping Herzan with the Mattei candidacy, in the belief that the best pope for the Church would be one who was acceptable to Vienna. On Christmas Eve, Herzan was able to write to Baron Thugut in Vienna that he had collected ten votes for that day, and would have twelve on Christmas (Mattei actually got sixteen, to Herzan's delight),  "ce qui veut dire qu' il aura l' exclusive" against Bellisomi [Duerm, p. 56, with an explanation of the meaning of exclusive; p. 61].   Herzan's elation was tempered by the knowledge that this was likely to lead to a long and contentious conclave.     But if things became desperate, he would act in accordance with his most recent instructions (he may have asked for permission for a formal exclusiva against Bellisomi, but apparently he did not yet have it) [Duerm, p. 57]:

Si je vois que les choses sont désespérées, je réglerai ma conduite sur les indications que Votre Exc. daignera me transmettre par rapport à ma demande touchant le cardinal Bellisomi, sujet très recommendable par sa piété. Mais que tout ceci, j'en conjure Votre Exc., demeuré enveloppe du plus profond secret.

The numbers of his candidate Mattei settled at 13 the day after Christmas, and only occasionally rose to 14 or 15.  Herzan's prediction of a long conclave was already becoming a reality.  But, on the evening of the 23rd, Cardinal Lorenzana promised Herzan Spanish support for Cardinal Mattei, if and when the candidacy of Valenti became a dead issue.

On Christmas Day, Herzan received a reply from Thugut to his letter of December 11, announcing his arrival in Venice.  The letter expressed the Austrian Court's fullest confidence in Herzan's abilities, but did not extend or expand his powers in any way.  He was still to work for Mattei's election, and was to explain to the Spanish why it was advantageous for them to follow suit.   He did not have the power to announce an exclusiva.    But there was no mention in the correspondence from Vienna of his question about the acceptability of Bellisomi;  nor yet by January 4, 1800 [Duerm, p. 77].

On December 28, Maury had a good deal to write to Louis XVIII.  He complained that Cardinal Herzan had not yet presented his credentials to the Sacred College from the Austrian Court; some people doubted that they existed [Ricard, Memoires Maury I, p. 286; Duerm, 61-62].  Without such credentials, of course, Herzan could not possibly present a formal exclusiva.  Maury reports a conversation he had had with Cardinal Herzan [Maury, p. 285-286] in which the latter complained that Vienna wanted him to promote, in opposition to Bellisomi, the candidacy of Cardinal Mattei, who (as Herzan said) did not have three votes in his favor.  Herzan was, of course, knew otherwise, and so did Maury.  Bellisomi continued to receive nineteen or twenty votes, and Herzan continued to explain that Mattei was acceptable to Vienna, Madrid and Naples. Working strenuously, Cardinal Antonelli managed at one point to pull together a few of his supporters, Herzan's few, some of Cardinal Gerdil's adherents, and a few from Bellisomi to produce thirteen votes for Cardinal Mattei, but the little faction immediately fell apart during the accessio. But it was clear that there was a deadlock: the supporters of Bellisomi could exclude Mattei, and Mattei's supporters could exclude Bellisomi. On January 4, 1800, Bellisomi's supporters, led by Braschi and Albani, still had its nineteen-votes. Braschi had had a confrontation with Herzan, and declared that Mattei would never be pope.

In a letter of January 8, 1800 [Duerm, p. 84], Cardinal Herzan reports to Vienna the members of the opposing factions:

Antonelli Albani
Valenti Stuart (York)
Carafa Calcagnini
Martiniana Honorati
Herzan Gioanetti
Livizzani Giuseppe Doria
Lorenzana Chiaramonti
Dugnani Busca
Archetti Borgia
Vincenti Caprara
Carandini Maury
Flangini De Pretis
Ruffo Pignatelli
(Zelada) Roverella
  Antonio Doria

Cardinal Gerdil, it was believed (by Herzan), was voting either for Calcagnini or Antonelli; he was not opposed to Mattei.

On January 11, Cardinal Maury wrote to Louis XVIII that Bellisomi had needed only five votes to win during many scrutinies [Maury, 300], i.e. that he had 19 votes consistently.   On January 13, Herzan wrote to Baron Thugut that he had had a meeting with Cardinal Braschi, who demanded to know whether Herzan had had a reply from Vienna about the candidacy of Bellisomi. Herzan had to reply that, although he knew of no objection to Cardinal Bellisomi, he had, in the name of the Emperor, proposed a candidate who was above all others the Emperor's preference, Cardinal Mattei [Duerm, p. 90].  This was verbiage carefully constructed to hide the fact that Vienna was not forthcoming on the subject of Bellisomi.  But still the reply from Vienna did not arrive.  On January 13, Herzan wrote that Cardinal Braschi had demanded to know if he had received a response, and he made the same temporizing answer—despite the fact that four regular couriers had come and gone [Duerm, p. 90].   But in the meantime, Baron Thugut, having consulted with the Emperor, wrote a letter to Herzan [January 7, 1800, received by Herzan on January 15: Duerm, pp. 92-95, 103] in which the name of Cardinal Bellisomi did not even appear once. Instead, the Emperor ordered Herzan to carry out his original instructions: first, to assemble an exclusiva against all other candidates; and second, to persuade the Cardinals to elect Cardinal Mattei. Only in a second post scriptum does Thugut state that the Emperor would not change his mind, not even in favor of a Milanese cardinal such as Bellisomi; and in the second and third post scripta there is even a notable withdrawal of favor from the alternative candidate, Valenti, who (in Vienna's view) might end up a tool for the Spanish.  Finally, in the third point in the third post scriptum [Duerm, p. 100], the candidacy of Bellisomi is directly addressed by Thugut:

D' autre part, dans la supposition que V. Ém. vint à perdre tout espoir d'amener l'élection du cardinal Mattei, et qu'elle eút quelque sujet de craindre, qu'en s'attardant trop longtemps et sans succès à procurer cette élection, on courût le danger de voir Messieurs les cardinaux s'unir, par quelque soudaine résolution et entente, en faveur d'un autre candidat, V. Émin. est autorisée à se déclarer au nom de S. M. pour la candidature du cardinal Bellisomi.  S. M. aime à croire qu'il est en possession et saura faire preuve tout à la fois de ces qualités éminentes d'esprit et de coeur réclamées par les circonstances actuelles, et de ce dévouement à la Cour I. R. que Votre Émin. a loués en lui.

So, Vienna did not exclude Bellisomi, but, on the contrary, authorized Herzan to name him as the Imperial candidate—but only when the election of Cardinal Mattei became hopeless, and when there was some real reason to fear that the Cardinals might stampede in favor of some other candidate.  Herzan still did not have a right to announce an exclusiva, and he was still committed to procuring the election of Cardinal Mattei.

On January 15, 1800, Cardinal Herzan was indisposed and did not participate in the Scrutinies; he did vote from his cell though, through the Infirmarii [Duerm, p. 104]. He also had an interview with Don Sebastian Pascual, the Conclavist of Cardinal Lorenzana.  The Patriarch of Antioch, Antonio Despuig, had threatened to give the exclusiva against Cardinal Mattei, and Herzan needed information. Don Sebastian admitted that neither Despuig nor Lorenzana could cast an exclusiva, since Spain had not authorized one.  He also told Herzan that Lorenzana had cooled considerably in his enthusiasm for Mattei, and had switched his attention to Bellismomi [Herzan to Thugut, January 15, 1800: Duerm, p. 105].  Unfortunately it is exactly at this time that Cardinal Gerdil's useful tally sheet of the  votes  from December 2 to January 14 ends.

On the 18th of January, Bellisomi remained fixed at nineteen and Mattei at ten, according to Maury [Ricard, Memoires Maury, p. 302; in fact, Mattei had a consistent thirteen]. The supporters of the two leading candidates were giving each other the virtual exclusiva. On the 8th of February, according to Cardinal Maury, "nos scrutins sont toujours les mêmes." On the 15th of February, "nos scrutins sont toujours uniformes. On n' y veut rien changer....," a situation which persisted on the 22nd of February.

By then, however, it had been proposed that a commission should be appointed of members disagreeable to neither Mattei nor Bellisomi to attempt to find a candidate acceptable to both factions.  The author of the idea appears to have been Cardinal Dugnani, who, though a member of the Mattei faction, had come to realize that all of the likely candidates of their party had been tried without success, and that the future pope would have to come from the Bellisomi faction [Boulay de la Meurthe, p. 432]. After four days of discussion (February 15-18), the majority appointed Braschi and Albani, the minority Antonelli and Flangini [Herzan to Thugut, February 19, 1800: Deurm, p. 188].  Two conferences were held (February 19 and 20).  It was agreed that each side would name five acceptable soggetti, Bellisomi's party named Albani, Calcagnini, Honorati, Borgia and Chiaramonti; the opposition proposed Antonelli, Valenti, Giovanetti, Archetti, and Livizzani; each side would then prepare a list of the probable votes that each side would be likely to give to each of the ten soggetti; the two lists would be exchanged simultaneously [Maury, 332-334] . The returns, however, were manipulative and failed in their intent—to identify a candidate on which both sides could agree [Herzan to Thugut, February 21, 1800: Duerm pp. 191-195]. The minority offered not a single vote to any soggetto on the majority list, except two votes for Chiaramonti.  Both Cardinal Herzan [Duerm, p. 208] and Cardinal Maury [Ricard, Memoires Maury I, p. 341] sent off a tally sheet of where the votes might be cast:

Herzan (positive)
Herzan (possible)
Maury (positive)


Bonaparte and Talleyrand: The February Offensive

In mid-February, the French decided to interfere with the Election of the Pope. Napoleon had come to power as First Consul in the coup-d'-état of 18 Brumaire (November 9, 1799), and had reinstalled the indispensible Talleyrand (former aristocrat, former Prince, and former Bishop) in the Office of Foreign Affairs.  On February 18, 1800, under orders from Napoleon, Minister Citizen Talleyrand wrote a letter to the Spanish Ambassador in Paris, the Marquis de Muzquiz.   In it Talleyrand conveyed some "reflections" on the events transpiring in Venice. The Conclave (in his view) was entirely under the domination of the House of Austria, through the cardinals from territories which were under his domination.  The Election (he said) was irregular and illegal.  The cardinals of all the Powers were not there [not true].  The non-Catholic governments of Britain and Russia were participating [not true;  on relations between the Papacy and Russia, see Baldassari III, 159-185].   Forms and customs of Conclaves were being violated [which was true, but fully authorized by several decrees of Pius VI, Breve of Pius VI (February 1797), Christi Ecclesiae, and Quum Nos, superiore anno—of which Talleyrand may well have been ignorant].  The selection of the right person as Pope was in the interest of both France and Spain, due to the territorial rectifications which would be required of the new Pope.  Bonaparte wanted the King of Spain to refuse his consent to the election:

Le Premier Consul me charge, M. l'ambassadeur, de vous déclarer que dans son opinion il est de l'intérêt des deux pays, et dans le sens des obligations de l'alliance qui les unit, que S. M. Catholique refuse son adhésion actuelle à son élection, se réservant de l' approuver ou de l'improuver à l'avenir, et faisant porter son refus de la reconnaître sur les irrégularités de la formation et des opérations du prétendu conclave de Venise.

Muzquiz dispatched the letter to the Spanish Minister Mariano Luis de Urquijo on February 27.  The Minister replied, noting first of all that there was a Spanish Cardinal at the Conclave, Cardinal Lorenzana, who was working under instructions provided by the King to ensure the liberty of the Conclave.  The King did not intend to interfere in the Conclave:

no puede el Rey ni en conciencia ni en politica dejar de reconocer al papa que se nombre, tanto mas que se vé y sabe que la córte de Viena ha cedido de su obstinacion y dado las instrucciones necesarias para que los cardenales nombren á quien gusten.

The point was also emphasized by the French Ambassador to the Spanish Court, Citizen Charles-Jean-Marie Alquier, in a letter of March 30 to Talleyrand:

Jamais le Roi Catholique, tel qu'il est et tel que vous le connaissez, n' eût supporté l'idée d'être mal avec le chef de la catholicité.  D'ailleurs, avec un peuple tel que celui-ci, il est impossible de calculer jusqu' où aurait pu se porter l' effervescence qu' aurait nécessairement produite le refus formel de reconnaitre le Pape. 

The King of Spain himself was said to have remarked to his Minister, when he was presented with Talleyrand's letter:

On ne connaît pas mon peuple; je serais lapidé et mis en pièces, si je faisais dans cette occasion ce que demande le Premier Consul.

That was the end of the matter, at least until the First Consul's armies descended on Italy that Spring, a campaign which had been in the planning stages the whole time the Conclave was in progress.  On March 12, Napoleon, in Paris, was giving orders to General Messena, the Commander of the Army of Italy, about the siege of Geneva.  Supply trains were moving down the Rhone. On May 14, 1800, Napoleon was at Lausanne.  On May 21, he had reached Aosta; on the 27th he was in Ivrea; on the 30th at Vercellae; and on the 2nd of June at Milan.  On June 10 he was at Pavia, crossed the Po, and reached Stradella. The Battle of Morengo took place on June 14, 1800. [Correspondence de Napoléon Ier  Tome VI (Paris 1860), 344-456].   It seems as though Talleyrand's letter was supposed to throw confusion into the enemy in Italy, when France and Spain both refused to recognize the outcome of the Conclave.  The new pope would be in a bad negotiating position, as Napoleon seized the territory which had been taken from his Cisalpine Republic by the Austrians.

Valenti, and then Gerdil

On March 1, there was a sudden change in the deadlock, helped perhaps by the inconclusive mediation. Four of Bellisomi's supporters announced their willingness to vote for Valenti, who had once been acceptable to Vienna [Maury, 338-342]. Valenti has been consistently receiving a small number of votes at every scrutiny, between three and eight. This offer, however, embarassed Cardinal Antonelli considerably. He believed that he was the leader of the minority; he continued to campaign for Mattei, as did Herzan. To compound embarassments, Cardinal Valenti, who was seventy-four years old and infirm, was appointed Scrutator at the next round of balloting, which consequently took more than an hour longer than usual and exposed the weaknesses of the recently spotlighted soggetto to a cruel scrutiny of a different sort. His poor physical state damned his chances [Maury, p. 345]. The weekly letter of March 8 began, "Le scrutin ne varie point, au milieu de tant d'efforts pour en changer la direction." The Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Albani, had a conference with Antonelli, at the conclusion of which it seemed that both sides would be able to agree on Cardinal Gerdil. But when the deal was taken to Cardinal Herzan to obtain the approval of the Emperor's representative, Herzan stated that Gerdil would receive a Veto (exclusiva) [Maury, 351-352; Consalvi, 255-258; Duerm, 29]. His threat was enough to discourage Gerdil's progress. There was, however, no actual veto presented. At that point it seemed (to Maury) that the only cardinal on the majority side who could hope to secure votes was Guido Cardinal Calcagnini, bishop of Osimo, "ce sauvage virtueux", but Maury believed him to be unelectable. Nonetheless, Antonelli approached Albani and Braschi with the proposal that they should make an effort to get Calcagnini the votes, and for a time it looked as though they might succeed.

On the evening of March 11, Cardinal Antonelli visited Cardinal Herzan.  He informed Herzan that Cardinal Albani, the Dean, would no longer participate in any mediation, and had put the whole business in Antonelli's hands, declaring that he was opposed to Cardinal Valenti (Herzan already realized that Valenti's chances were gone [Duerm p. 226]).  Antonelli replied to Albani that, since Valenti, Calcagnini, Gerdil, Mattei and Bellisomi were now out of the running,  he would cast his vote for Albani himself.  Antonelli's conversation with Herzan was interrupted by Cardinal Dugnani, who came to suggest the candidacy of Cardinal Chiaramonti, "since all the partisans of Mattei were disposed toward him."  Herzan realized that he was now in a position where he could not prevent the election of Chiaramonti.  The Mattei faction was falling apart [Herzan to Thugut, March 12, 1800: Duerm, p. 232].   Two days later, Herzan, on reflection, decided that it was the precipitate behavior of Cardinal Dugnani in his eagerness to end the election business that hastened the election of Cardinal Chiaramonti; but he attributed Dugnani's behavior  to the desire to give himself and his faction a little bit of gloriola (a word coined by Cicero).


Spain, Mattei, and Calcagnini

Next morning, March 12,  Cardinal Herzan invited Cardinal Chiaramonti to an interview, at the beginning of which he informed Chiaramonti that many of the cardinals in his faction were would vote for him to be pope.  Chairamonti went pale.  Herzan pointed out that there were considerations, not personal ones but ones having to do with his entourage (i.e. the faction with which he was currently voting, against Mattei), which did not please the Imperial Court.  Chairamonti would have to remove these bad impressions, which could be done if he would agree to appoint Cardinal Flangini as his Secretary of State.  Chiaramonti replied that he did not want to become pope, and that he was happy as a bishop.  As to Flangini, he was discredited both in Rome and in Venice, because of grave suspicions on the part of the Holy Office.  The whole world would be against him, Chiaramonti thought, if he made Flangini Secretary of State.  He added that it was uncanonical to make promises in consideration of a papal election, under pain of excommunication. Herzan remarked to Chiaramonti that the powerful protection of Baron Thugut would be necessary to a new pope, and he assured Thugut in a letter that Chiaramonti, if elected, would seek that same protection and would follow Cardinal Herzan's counsels. After the meeting, apparently, Herzan discussed its contents with Flangini, and they agreed that Chiaramonti was a prudent man and that, in the current circumstances, his chances of election were excellent.  Finally Herzan gave up on the chances of Mattei and Valenti, and so informed Thugut [Duerm, pp. 234-236].

In a letter of Wednesday, March 12, Maury (pp. 360-371) informed King Louis that the conclave was in chaos. A special messenger had arrived from Madrid with authorization for Cardinal Lorenzana to cast a formal Veto (exclusiva) against Mattei.  The news was conveyed to the busy Herzan by Cardinal Roverella.  It was, of course, unnecessary to cast the veto, since Mattei never obtained even a majority of the votes, and he was the subject of a virtual exclusiva by the supporters of Bellisomi.  As Cardinal Maury remarked, "On leur a répondu qu'ils avaient tué un mort."  Suddenly Calcagnini's candidacy seemed highly viable, if not a certainty, though the fortunate man consulted Maury privately as to whether it was possible to refuse an election. Herzan announced that he was by no means opposed, as Imperial minister, to Calcagnini's election, but as an individual he could not vote for him; this was a kiss of death [Consalvi, Mémoires (1866), 260-261]:

Quand on le mit sur le tapis, Herzan le connaissait à peine, — car jusqu’alors Calcagnini, vivant dans son diocèse d’0simo, n’avait pas été son collègue à Rome comme les autres.—Avant de se déterminer à lui donner son vote et à faire concourir les siens en sa faveur, Herzan voulut se ménager une conversation avec lui, afin de l’examiner habilement, de connaître ses idées et sa manière de penser. Il alla le visiter dans sa cellule; mais Calcagnini, peu souple, quoique poli et courtois, incapable de toute dissimulation, excessivement mesuré et même jusqu’à l’ennui, d’une probité exemplaire, d’un caractère peu fait pour la cour et pour les courtisans (malgré qu’il eût été nonce à Naples et maître de chambre dans les commencements de Pie VI), fit une telle figure aux yeux de Herzan dans la conversation qu’il eut avec lui, que ce dernier, très-dégoûté, sortit fermement décidé à ne pas participer à son élection. Il résulta de là que la faction Mattei s’y refusa aussi complétement. Les quatre autres obtinrent un assez pauvre succès dans les scrutins qui eurent lieu en leur faveur. A peine proposés, ils échouèrent.

Herzan's mere opinion, considering Austria's importance to the success of the Conclave and to the survival of Church government in Italy, was decisive. Calcagnini had enemies, too, and it was apparent that he would not get their votes. His candidacy collapsed as quickly as it seemed certain to lead him to election. The minority was certainly in disarray, and three or four members began to talk seriously about Chiaramonti, the Bishop of Imola. Maury, too, thought that he would be a good choice. [Consalvi, 263-271]. Consalvi and Maury thought it might be better to proceed toward that end through indirection. The matter of convincing the cardinals individually in favor of this new candidacy was entrusted to the Roman, Father Francesco Pinto Poloni, Maury's conclavist. Braschi was approached, and was friendly to the proposal of making Chiaramonti pope, but he did not want to proceed without taking counsel with Cardinal Albani, the Dean of the College and a much respected participant in the conclave, with considerable influence on a number of his colleagues. [Consalvi, 273, 284]

Another letter of Maury, written at noon on Friday, the 14th, just after the election of Chiaramonti, raced to Louis XVIII with its news. On Wednesday evening the 12th, a portentous meeting took place, between Braschi and Antonelli. Cardinal Antonelli agreed to offer the majority all his votes in favor of Cardinal Chiaramonti [Consalvi, p. 274-277]. Antonelli also approached Herzan, and convinced him of the merits of the plan, though Herzan asked for some time to consider. Finally he agreed, though some of his friends, the older cardinals, had doubts (Consalvi, 278-280). The agreement became public by Thursday at the beginning of the scrutiny, and by evening it was obvious that Chiaramonti would be successful. The cardinals went in a group to kiss Chiaramonti's hand [Consalvi, 281-284].


No veto

Despite frequent statements to the contrary, there was no formal Veto (exclusiva) presented during this Conclave. Authors who state that there were vetoes are in fact confusing the virtual exclusiva (sufficient votes to prevent a two-thirds majority) with the actual formal veto; or, sometimes, the mere mention that a veto would be presented with the actual presentation of that veto. One authority states that Cardinal Herzan cast two vetoes, one against Cardinal Gerdil (on the grounds that the Emperor Francis would never accept a subject of the King of Sardinia) [Artaud de Montor, Histoire du pape Pie VII, pp. 82, 84, 86, 91—he does not give the date, but situates it in his narrative during the four days before Herzan's message to Vienna of December 18].  But it is certain from Herzan's own correspondence with Vienna that he did not have the right to cast an exclusiva in December, 1799. Indeed, on December 28, Cardinal Maury complained that Cardinal Herzan had not yet presented his credentials to the Sacred College from the Austrian Court [Ricard, Memoires Maury I, p. 286; Duerm, 61-62].  Herzan could not have given the exclusiva against Cardinal Gerdil in December, as Artaud suggests.  The Mémoires of Cardinal Consalvi also state clearly that Gerdil did not receive the formal exclusiva [Consalvi, Mémoires (1864), p. 241; (1866), 258].  The other veto was allegedly against Cardinal Bellisomi. But none of the states who had that privilege—and there were only three, Spain, France, and the Emperor—could cast more than one veto, and they did so with greatest reluctance, knowing the bad feeling that it always created.  When the Spanish finally decided to cast a formal veto, in any case, it was to be against Cardinal Mattei, not against Bellisomi or Gerdil.  In any case, Herzan was far too clever and in far too commanding a situation to need to resort to the formal veto at all. His Instructions from the Emperor did indeed state that he should keep in close touch with Baron Thugut and expect supplementary instructions, but [Duerm, p. 25]:

Si, toutefois, il n'en était pas ainsi et s'il y avait lieu de craindre une issue précipitée et défavorable pour Nous, M. le cardinal s'emploiera à empêcher de toutes ses forces une précipitation intempestive et dangereuse: au besoin même il recourra au plus énergique des moyens en usage.

This statement gave Herzan wide latitude to use his forces as he thought necessary (the virtual veto),  but there is no mention of the exclusiva (veto), and Herzan would have needed far more specific instructions to show the Dean of the Sacred College if he were to attempt to announce an actual exclusiva.  This instruction came in the Secret Instructions,  which, however, could not be shown to the Dean or read in public [Duerm, p. 29]:

En égard à des considérations multiples auxquelles donne naissance la situation intérieure et extérieure de la France, Nous Nous voyons placé dans la nécessité d'étendre Nos exceptions aux cardinaux d'origine française et à ceux qui se seraient montrés disposés à embrasser le parti français.  Les réflexions énumerées et d'autres bien connues feront aisáment comprendre à Monsieur le cardinal que Nous devons d'une façon toute spéciale exclure absolument et formellement les cardinaux Gerdil, Caprara, Antonelli, Maury et ensuite ceux de la maison Doria qui se portent plus ou moins comme candidats.

But the Emperor did not have the right to issue a formal veto against six cardinals—who are listed in the Instructions.  The "absolute and formal exclusion" mentioned in the Secret Instructions—which were never intended to be seen by the cardinals—is merely a declaration that the Emperor did not want any of those named  to become pope. There is no positive evidence that any veto was actually cast [See Wahrmund, 230-231]. The exclusiva which are mentioned are inevitably the virtual veto.  It is admitted, for example, that the Antonelli faction had a sufficient number of votes to exclude a candidate [Artaud de Montor, p. 103], and so did Herzan. On December 28, Herzan wrote to Baron Thugut [Duerm, p. 62]:

Lorsqu' à mon arrivée au conclave le cardinal doyen Albani me demanda quelles étaient les intentions de l' empereur, je lui répondis que S. M. ne songeait nullement à entraver la liberté de l'election.

Election: March 14

On March 14, Gregorio Barnaba Cardinal Chiarimonti, Cardinal Priest of S. Callisto, was elected, taking the name Pius VII. The vote was finally unanimous, though the last to give way were Maury, Caprara, Doria, Pignatelli and Borgia [at least according to Cardinal Herzan in a letter to Thugut, March 14, 1800: Duerm, p. 239; Consalvi Mémoires (1864) 266-267; (1866) 284].  Chiaramonti gave his vote to Cardinal Albani, the Dean of the Sacred College [Consalvi (1864), 267]. Such was the custom. The Conclave had lasted three months and fourteen days, the vacancy six months and sixteen days.  When the news arrived in Madrid, the King of Spain and the Royal Council were reported (by the Secretary of the Imperial Embassy in Madrid) to be happy and satisfied with the choice [Duerm, p. 317-318].  The Emperor too was satisfied, though Baron Thugut asked that the Nuncio in Vienna, Msgr. Albani, be recalled.  He had been too vigorous in mixing into secular politics, namely the status of the Three Legations and the Austrian withdrawal from the Papal States.  One issue was the view that the Treaty of Tolentino (February, 1797:  Moroni 76, 317-322) had been extortion [Duerm, p. 309-310]. On the other hand, the Emperor was eager to have the new Pope visit Vienna, as Pius VI had done.  He believed (or rather, Thugut believed) that a face-to-face meeting of the two sovereigns could resolve their differences satisfactorily (that is, to the complete satisfaction of the Emperor).  This was not to be.  Napoleon would see to it.

The coronation of the new Pope took place in Venice, at the Monastery of S. Giorgio, on March 21, the Feast of St. Benedict, despite some hesitations, even from Pius VII himself, because appropriate representatives of various princes, especially the Austrian Emperor, were not present [Ricard, Maury, 378-379].  The Emperor himself had decided, well before the Conclave began, that he would have no Ambassador Extraordinary to the Conclave; neither could he have an Ambassador in Ordinary, since Venice was (at the time) part of his own possessions. The desire of the papal government had been to hold the event at the Basilica of St. Mark in the heart of Venice, but they received a negative indication from an Austrian functionary, which Thugut supported [Herzan to Thugut, March 22, 1800; Duerm, 272]. The crown was placed on the new Pope's head by Antonio Cardinal Doria-Pamfilj, the Cardinal Protodeacon [Cancellieri, 439].

Subsequent events indicate that there was much unhappiness in Rome and in Italy. It required the assistance of Austrian military forces to introduce the pope to his flock and send the Neapolitans (by which is meant the troops of the restored Ferdinand IV) back to Naples. The reappearance of General Bonaparte in Italy and the battle of Morengo (June 14, 1800) immensely complicated the situation. The Pope entered Rome on July 3, 1800. On August 11, Ercole Consalvi was created Cardinal Deacon of Sant' Agata in Suburra. Pius VII took possession of the Lateran Basilica on November 14, 1801 [Cancellieri, pp. 479-498].


There were no coins or medals to commemorate the proceedings of the Sede Vacante in Venice.  There was no Camerlengo.


Bust of Cardinal Consalvi by Canova, fron the Pantheon
Cardinal Ercole Consalvi



Caerimoniale continens ritus electionis Romani Pontificis Gregorii Papae XV jussu editum cui praefiguntur Constitutiones Pontificiae, & Conciliorum Decreta ad eam rem pertinentia (Venetiis: Typis Francisci Andreola, MDCCXCIX [1799]).  Jo: Franciscus Albani, Allocutio habita in conclavis cappella Kal. Dec. Ann. MDCCIC ab eminentissimo Card. Decano Jo: Francisco Albani Ostiae ac Veltrarum Episcopo Sacro Cardinalium Collegio pro electione futuri Summi Pontificis in Monasterio Sancti Georgii Majoris Venetiarum Conlecto (Roma: Giunchi 1800).

The memoirs of Ercole Cardinal Consalvi offer an inside look, though a disputed one, at the conclave: Mémoires du Cardinal Consalvi seconde édition (Paris: Plon 1866), 217-288. See also Engelbert Fischer, Cardinal Consalvi (Mainz 1899), Ernest Daudet, Le Cardinal Consalvi (Paris 1866); and Roberto Regoli, Ercole Consalvi, le Scelte per la Chiesa (Edizioni Pont. Univ. Gregoriana, Roma 2006).

Likewise the collected letters of Cardinal Jean Siffrein Maury (1746-1817), Msgr. Charles Antoine Ricard (editor), Correspondence diplomatique et mémoires inédits du Cardinal Maury (1792-1817) (Lille 1891) I, 264-379.

Abbé Pietro Baldassari was an eyewitness to many events at the time, and a copyist of important documents that came under his eyes:  Pietro Baldassari, Histoire de l' enlèvement et de la captivité de Pie VI (Paris: Adrien Le Clerc 1839); Relazione delle aversita e patimenti del glorioso Papa Pio VI negli ultimi tre anni del suo pontificato  4 vols in 2 (Roma: Tipografia poliglotta del S.C. di Propaganda Fide, 1889).  The future cardinal (September 30, 1831) Giuseppe Antonio Sala was present in Rome during the entire period, and left a diary: Giuseppe Cugnoni (editor), Scritti di Giuseppe Antonio Sala 4 volumes (Roma: Società Romana di Storia patria 1882, 1882, 1886, 1888). On Sala, see Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol. 60 (Venezia 1851), 237-240.   Herbert M. Vaughan, The Last of the Royal Stuarts: Henry Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York second edition (New York: Dutton 1906).

Giovanni Sforza, "Pio VI alla Certosa di Firenze," Archivio storico italiano 5 (1890) 311-317.

The Conclave of 1800 is discussed by Chevalier François Artaud de Montor, Histoire du Pape Pie VII second edition (Paris 1837) I, pp 80-107 [He was an ultra-monarchist and an ultra-Ultramontane]. Cf. Comte Boulay de la Meurthe, "Mémoire d' Artaud sur le conclave de Venise," Revue d' histoire diplomatique 8 (1894) 427-448.  Also consult: Alberto Lumbroso, Ricordi e documenti sul Conclave di Venezia (1800) (Roma: Fratelli Bocca 1903)   Eugenio Cipolletta, Memorie politiche sui conclavi da Pio VII a Pio IX (Milano 1863) [with documents, especially from Lord Acton and Naples];    Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol. 53 (Venezia 1851), s.v. 'Pio VII', pp. 116-118. Gaetano Giucci, Delle vite dei sommi pontefice Pio VII, Leone XII, Pio VIII, Gregorio XVI, per servire di continuazione a quelle di Giuseppe Novaes Volume I (Roma 1857) 39-48 [fulsome in praise of Pius VII].   Pierre Vachoux, Extraits inedits de la correspondance & des manuscrits du Cardinal Gerdil (Annecy 1867), Chapter II, pp. 39-56.   Analecta Iuris Pontificii. Dissertations sur divers sujets de droit canonique, liturgie et théologie Troisième série, II. 1 (Rome 1858) 1107-1199. [Documents relating to Cardinal Gerdil].   Charles van Duerm, SJ, Un peu plus de lumiere sur le Conclave de Venise et sur les commencements du Pontificat de Pie VII. 1799-1800 (Louvain: Ch. Peeters 1896) [correspondence of Cardinal Herzan and Count Thugut].   Giovanni Berthelet, Conclavi, Pontefice e Cardinali nel Secolo XIX (Torino-Roma 1903).  Fredrik Nielsen, The History of the Papacy in the Nineteenth Century (tr. A.J. Mason) Volume I (London: Murray 1906) pp. 191-218.  

R. Obechea, El Cardinel Lorenzana en el conclave de Venezia (1975). The alleged exclusion of Cardinal Gerdil by the pronouncement of Cardinal Herzan is discussed by Ludwig Wahrmund, Das Ausschliessungs-recht (jus exclusivae) der katholischen Staaten Österreich, Frankreich und Spanien bei den Papstwahlen (Wien 1888) 230-231. Giovanni Piantoni, Vita del Cardinale Giacinto Sigismondo Gerdil e analisi di tutte le stampate sue opere (Roma: Salviucci 1851). Giuseppe Baraldi, Notizia biografica sul Cardinale Stefano Borgia di Velletri (Modena 1830). Domenico Sacchinelli, Memorie storiche sulla vita del Cardinale Fabrizio Ruffo (Napoli 1836) [Sacchinelli was Ruffo's private secretary; this is an apology, not history].  Joseph Alexander von Helfert, Fabrizio Ruffo. Revolution und Gegen-Revolution von Neapel, November 1798 bis August 1799. (Wien: W. Braumüller, 1882).   Reuben Parsons, Studies in Church History V, part 1 2nd edition (New York 1898).   X. Barbier de Montault, Oeuvres complètes   Tome troisième: Rome III, Le pape (Paris 1890), pp. 185-189 [the exclusiva: two kinds, defined and illustrated]

R. Langella, ed., Stefano Borgia e i Danesi a Roma (Velletri 2000) [Pubblicazione 1° quaderno del Centro Internazionale di Studi Borgiani].  R. Langella - R. Mammucari (ed.),  Stefano Borgia: epistolario privato vol. III dal 1797 al 1804   (Velletri 2001)  [Pubblicazione del VI Quaderno della Biblioteca Comunale di Velletri] .

On the ex-cardinals: William Cornwallis Cartwright, On the Constitution of Papal Conclaves (Edinburgh 1878).  Pius VI, Pii VI. Pont. Max. Acta quibus Ecclesiae Catholicae calamitatibus in Gallia consultum est (Romae: Typis Sac. Congr. de Propaganda Fide 1871) No. LIV (brief concerning Cardinal Antici) and LV (brief concerning Cardinal Altieri).

On the Maestro di ceremonie, Giuseppe Dini: G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol. 41 (Venezia 1846), 180; Franz Ehrle, "Zur Geschichte des päpstliches Hofceremoniells im 14. Jahrh.," Archiv für Literatur- und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters 5 (1889), 565-602, at p. 589. There is an (unpublished) work entitled "Memorie dall' elezione del sommo pontefice felicemente regnante Pio VII. al suo arrivo in Rome," written by the Ceremoniere Msgr. Raffaele Mazio, Secretary of the SC Ceremoniale, who was made a Cardinal on March 15, 1830 by Pius VIII. The Memorial was consulted by Francesco Cancellieri, Storia de' solenni possessi de' Sommi Pontifici (Roma 1802), 433-440.

C. Cavedoni, "Biografia di Cardinale Innigo Diego Caracciolo," in   Continuazione delle Memorie di religione, di morale, e di letteratura  VI  (Modena 1837), pp. 251-260 [derived from Baldassari].

On the return to Rome, see: Francesco Cancellieri, Storia de' solenni possessi de' Sommi Pontifici (Roma 1802), 440-478 [His account is wildly enthusiastic, as befit his clerical status, suppressing all mention of dissent].  M. le Comte d' Haussonville, L' église romain et le premier empire deuxième édition (Paris 1866) 33-42.

For a very hostile, anti-papal deconstructionist view of the first four popes of the 19th century, see Alessandro Gavazzi, My Recollections of the Last Four Popes (London 1858), especially 29-33 [This is a violent refutation of the jejune and tendentious 'memoir' of Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman, by an apostate ex-Catholic-priest].

September 29, 2015 1:09 PM

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