SEDE VACANTE MDCCCXXIX
Arms of Pietro Francesco Card. Galeffi, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, surmounted by the Ombrellone, crossed keys, and the Cardinal's Hat with fifteen tassels on each side. Above, the Holy Spirit and rays of light.
Berman, p. 207 #3263.
SEDE • VACAN TE • MDCCCXXIX
Arms of Pietro Francesco Card. Galeffi, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, surmounted by the Ombrellone, crossed keys, and the Cardinal's Hat with fifteen tassels on each side. The Holy Spirit above.
Berman, p. 208 #3263.
Born in 1770 at Cesena, a relative of Pope Pius VI, Pietro Francesco Galeffi was created cardinal on July 11, 1803. He was deported to France in 1809 along with Pope Pius VII; in 1810 he was exiled to Sedan, and only able to return to Italy after Napoleon's exile. He became Archpriest of S. Pietro in Vaticano and Prefect of the Congregation of the Fabric of St. Peter's in 1820, as well as Bishop of Albano. In 1830 he exchanged Albano for Porto-Santa Rufina-Civitavecchia. On December 20, 1824, he became Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, a post which he held until his death on June 18, 1837.
Msgr. Mario Mattei (1792-1870) was Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae Thesaurius Generalis (Papal Treasurer) at the time of the conclaves of 1829 and 1830-31. He became a cardinal deacon on July 2, 1832 In 1843 he was named Archpriest and president of the Sacred Congregation of the Reverenda Fabbrica di S. Pietro. He became Cardinal Bishop of Frascati in 1844, was translated to Porto and Sta. Rufina in 1854, and became Bishop of Ostia in 1860. He was Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals from 1860 until his death on October 7, 1870.
AVGVSTINVS | PRINCEPS | CHISIVS | S • R • E • | MARESCHALLVS | PERPETVVS | MDCCCXXIX
Prince Agostino Chigi (d. 1855) was the Marshal of the Holy Roman Church during both interregna, as he had been in 1823. The Prince's diary for the years 1830-1855, Il tempo di Papa-Re, survives, providing some interesting background information on the agonized death of Pope Pius VIII, the Interregnum, and the Conclave of 1831. There were conspiracies and revolts against the papal government in a number of Italian cities, including Rome.
Crossed keys, surmounted by Ombrellone.
BENEDIC CAPELLETTI PRAEF• VR• ET VICE-CAMERARIVS
The Governor of Rome (and therefore chief of police) during the two conclaves of 1829-1831 was Msgr. Benedetto Cappelletti (1764-1834). A Benedictine of Monte Cassino, he was essentially a civil and legal administrator, having begun his career in the Apostolic Signatura. He served as papal governor in Viterbo, Macerata (1822), Urbino (1823), and Pesaro. He became governor of the city of Rome in 1829, and held that post until he was named a Cardinal by Gregory XVI on July 2, 1832 as Cardinal Priest of San Clemente. He was named Bishop of Rieti in 1833, and died there the next year.
Arms of the Commune di Roma. surmounted by a crown, with flags and weapons behind. Inscription S.P.Q.R. on bend across the shield.
MDCCCXXIX • SEDE VACANTE
O(doardus) DE' CINQUE
P(aulus) CARANDINI } COSS
P(hilippus) PATRIZI.C(ivitatis) R(omae) P(atricius)
The three governing Conservatori, Patricians of Rome
cf. R. De Cesare, Il conclavo di Leone XIII , p 277. The Fasti Consulares Capitolini are printed by
Vincenzo Forcella, Inscrizioni delle Chiese e d' altri edificii di Roma Volume I (Roma 1869) 20.
The Secretary of the Conclave was Msgr. Paolo Polidori (1778-1847) He began his career as Vicar-General for the Diocese of Viterbo, and then served in the same capacity for the Suburbicarian Diocese of Ostia e Velletri, first for Cardinal Leonardo Antonelli, and then (after an exile from 1809-1814, during the imprisonment of Pope Pius VII) for Cardinal Alessandro Mattei. He was Secretary of Latin Briefs and Secretary of the SC of Tridentine Council. As Secretary of the Consistorial Congregation, he was Secretary of the Conclave of 1829 and the one of 1830-1831. He became a Cardinal on June 23, 1834, and was assigned the titulus of San Eusebio.
In a dispatch to the French Foreign Minister, Comte Portalis, on February 17, 1829, the French Ambassador Ordinary in Rome, the Vicomte de Chateaubriand, reported a conversation which he had had with the Papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Bernetti, on February 13 (Chateaubriand, 2-9). Four cardinals appeared to have the early favor of popular opinion: Capellari, Pacca, di Gregorio, and Giustiniani.
It is important to the Diplomatic Body, and especially to the French Ambassador, that the Secretary of State in Rome should be a man of ready intercourse and accustomed to the affairs of Europe. Cardinal Bernetti is the minister who suits us best in every respect; he has committed himself on our behalf with the Zelanti, and the members of the lay congregations; we are bound to wish that he should be re-employed by the next Pope. I asked him with which of the four cardinals he would have most chance of returning to power. He answered: 'With Capellari.'
...Cardinal Pacca is very much enfeebled by age, and his memory, like that of the Senior Cardinal, La Somaglia, is beginning to fail him entirely.
Cardinal di Gregorio would be a suitable Pope. Although he ranks among the Zelanti, he is not without moderation; he thrusts back the Jesuits, who have as many adversaries and enemies here as in France. Neapolitan subject though he be, Cardinal Di Gregorio is rejected by Naples, and still more by Cardinal Albani, the executor of the high decrees of Austria....
The cardinals favourable to the Jesuits are Giustiniani, Odescalchi, Pedicini and Bertalozzi. The cardinals opposed to the Jesuits, owing to different causes and different circumstances, are Zurla, Di Gregorio, Bernetti, Capellari and Micara.
On February 28, the Consular Agent in Rome of the Duke of Modena, Ceccopieri, wrote to his Foreign Minister, the Marquis Molza (Bianchi, 429-430)
Tre cardinali sono stati sopra gli altri distincti in questi giorni dai loro eminentissimi colleghi e col maggior numero de' loro voti pel papato nella ballotazione, questi sono Pacca, Gamberini, e De Gregorio. Dicesi però che De Gregorio abbia l' esclusiva della Francia, e contro Pacca dicesi essersi molto adoperato il cardinale Zurla, il quale ha posto in vista dei votanti che quel cardinale pottrebe forse non essere immeritevole di soglio, ma che le persone che lo circodano sono forse di peggiore, o per lo meno di eguale calibro a quelle che circondavano Leone XII.
One Cardinal, Giovanni Francesco Marazzani Visconti (aged 73), died during the Sede Vacante, on February 18, 1829. A list of the living cardinals at the time of the election of Pius VIII is given by Berthelet (pp. 32-33).
Ultimately fifty cardinals were present in the conclave. Thirty-four votes were needed for a canonical election. The Italian patriciate was well represented by the princely Albani, Barberini, Doria, and Giustiniani; the nobility was represented by Della Somaglia, Bernetti, Palotta, Ruffo-Scilla, Riario, Guerrieri Gonzaga, Franzoni, Morozzo, De Gregorio, Zurla and Firrao. (Silvagni, 625-626).
On the morning of February 23, Cardinal Somaglia celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit in St. Peter's; that afternoon, thirty-two cardinals assembled at S. Silvestro, sang the Veni Creator, and marched in procession to the Quirinale Palace, where they were joined by five others. On February 27, three more cardinals entered conclave: Tommaso Arezzo (Bishop of Sabina), Giuseppe Morozzo (Bishop of Novara), and Vicenzo Macchi (the Apostolic Legate in Ravenna); that evening Cardinal Ruffo of Naples arrived; he entered the Conclave on March 2. On the 3rd, Carlo Cardinal Gaysruck arrived from Milan. Giuseppe Cardinal Albani arrived on the same day, with Austrian instructions, and subsequently Cardinal Giuseppe Firrao On the 12th of March de Latil (Rheims), and on the 13th de la Fare (grand-nephew of Cardinal Bernis), and d'Isoard (Auch) entered conclave after a thorough briefing from Chateaubriand (Chateaubriand, 22-23):
We have agreed that they should support the candidates of whom I have already spoken to you, namely, Cardinals Capellari, Oppizzoni, Benvenuti, Zurla, Castiglione, and lastly, Pacca and Di Gregorio; and that they should reject the Cardinals of the Sardinian faction: Pedicini, Giustiniani, Galleffi, and Cristaldi.
The French cardinals had, of course, also been instructed by the Comte Portalis, the French Foreign Minister, before they left Paris. He provided them with a memorandum which embodied the thinking of King Charles X, advising the cardinals to associate themselves with the Zelanti and resist the efforts of the Austrians (Bianchi, 422-430). King Charles maintained a high opinion of Cardinal Castiglione, Cardinal De Gregorio, Cardinal Brancadoro, and Cardinal Zurla. The leader of the Zelanti, Cardinal Carlo Odescalchi, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops and Religious, was vigorous in resisting any cardinal proposed by the Crowns.
In the first ballot Cardinal Castiglione received 11 votes, Cardinal Pacca 10, Cardinal de Gregorio 9, and Cardinal Cappellari 7.
March 4 was Ash Wednesday, and Cardinal Castiglione, the Major Penitentiary, distributed ashes to the cardinals. Msgr. Dardano reports the formation of a faction to get Cardinal de Gregorio elected; it included Zurla, Giustiniani, Benvenuti, Naro, Cappellari, Bertazzoli, Franzoni, Macchi, Bernetti, Guerrieri-Gonzaga, Riario-Sforza, Doria, Odescalchi, Morozzo, Falsacappa, and of course De Gregorio (Silvagni, 635). This faction was a group of moderates, and Riario and Falsacappa assumed the management of the strategy of the group. De Gregorio had good relations both with Naples and Spain. His father had been the favorite of Carlos III, and when Carlos moved to Madrid, the elder De Gregorio became his viceroy in Naples (Silvagni, 627). The leaders of the faction which favored Cardinal Castiglione were Frosini and Pedicini, along with Palotta, Rivarola and Arezzo.
In the scrutiny in the morning of March 5, De Gregorio received 19 votes. In the afternoon scrutiny, a problem arose over the number of ballots cast, 40 or 41; the Infirmarii had to collect votes from Cardinals Vidoni and Micari, who were ill, three separate times. De Gregorio had twenty votes.
On Friday the 6th, in the morning scrutiny, De Gregorio received 20 votes, and had 24 after the accessio—still four votes short of election. In the afternoon scrutiny, after the accessio, Cardinal Castiglione had 15 votes, according to Msgr. Dardano (Silvagni, 636). Cardinal Gaisruck arrived from Milan.
On March 7, Crosa, the Sardinian Ambassador in Rome, wrote to Turin (Bianchi, 430-431) that De Gregorio had obtained 24 votes on the 6th, only four short of election at the time (with 41 voters), and that he was being favored by the Ambassadors of France and Spain, probably to stop the Austrians. Cardinal Albani, who had entered the Conclave that day was a personal enemy of De Gregorio, which would affect the latter's chances (Buckingham, 98). Crosa wrote again on March 12 that the Minister of Naples had managed to have smuggled into the Conclave a memorial which denounced De Gregorio for personal laxity as well as political indulgence toward liberal ideas.
Also on March 7, a minor scandal erupted. At the morning scrutiny, Cardinal Somaglia, the Dean, made complaints against some of the conclavists were talking too much about information they received from their cardinals, and were putting about as certain fact things which were still very much uncertain. two conclavists were expelled from the Conclave and sent to the Castel S. Angelo for leaking the news that Cardinal De Gregorio was going to be elected within two days. The Consul of Modena reported in a letter of March 12 (Bianchi, 430):
Sono stati espulsi dal Conclave, e rinchiusi nelle prigioni un conclavista (e credo quello del cardinale Ruffo Scilla) ed un facchino. Costoro, ad onta dei giuramento di segretezza, e dal quale sono tutti legati nel porre il piede nel conclave, aveano fatto ben chiaramente conoscere che il cardinale De Gregorio sin da due giorni a questa parte sarebbe stato eletto papa. Tale elezione però è andata in fumo anch'essa per essere entrato il cardinale Albani.
In the afternoon scrutiny of the 7th of March, De Gregorio's numbers had fallen to 19 votes. Next morning his number had dropped to 13. Castiglione's numbers in the same scrutinies were 14 and then 15—according to Msgr. Dardano (Silvagni, 637). Cardinal Albani finally made his formal entrance into the Conclave:
La sua figura diceva entrato un volpone, traditore, uomo di Corte nel suo contegno, e capace di tutto.
But on Sunday, March 8, in the morning scrutiny De Gregorio again had 20 votes.
In the evening the Imperial Ambassador Extraordinary, Count Lutzow, was formally received by the College of Cardinals, by torchlight. He urged the cardinals to elect "a wise and modest" pope, and the announced that, in accordance with a letter of February 26, Cardinal Albani was authorized to represent the Emperor inside the Conclave. Cardinal Palotta was noticed visiting the cells of many of the cardinals that evening.
On March 10, Vicomte Chateaubriand presented his credentials and two letters from King Charles X, which were read aloud by the Secretary of the Conclave. Cardinal Castiglione made the reply on behalf of the College of Cardinals.
On March 11, the Comte de Celles, the Ambassador of the Low Countries, presented his credentials. Cardinal Bertazzoli made the formal reply on behalf of the Sacred College.
Thursday March 12 saw the entry into Conclave of Cardinals Isoard and Latil. as well as the Neapolitan Cardinal Firrao, claimed to be 93 years of age. De Gregorio continued to receive 14 and 15 votes, while votes also went to Castiglione, Cappellari, Giustiniani, Macchi, and Benvenuti.
On March 13, Cardinals La Fare (Archbishop of Sens) and Croy (Archbishop of Rouen) arrived, raising the total number of cardinals present to 48, and the number needed to elect a pope to 32. De Gregorio received 17 votes.
On March 14, Cardinal Castiglione had 20 votes in the morning and 23 in the afternoon—according to Msgr. Dardano (Silvagni, 640). Perhaps (he theorizes) this was a demonstration that the votes existed to exclude De Gregorio. On the 15th and 16th, Castiglione moved up to 24 votes, then 19, 20 and 18, while De Gregorio fluctuated at 15 to 17. The other votes went to Cappellari, Pacca, and Clermont Tonnerre (one vote).
On March 18, Cardinal Firrao had an apparent heart attack while visiting Cardinal Pacca. The pains were renewed after lunch. Msgr. Dardano speculated that Firrao had just eaten too much. Speculation that evening was that Cardinal Castiglione was doing so well that he might be elected on the next day's balloting. The voting on the 19th, however, indicated that there was a deadlock between the two factions. On the 20th, in the morning De Gregorio still had his 15 solid votes, Castiglione had 22, and Pacca 11. In the afternoon, after some politicking by Albani, Testaferrata, Dandini, and Frosone, Pacca's tally on the accessio reached 19. But, as someone remarked, Pacca was "pieno di virtù polverosa". De Gregorio had 18, Castiglione 22. On the 21st, however, Pacca still maintained nineteen votes, while Castiglione had twenty-two, and De Gregorio 18.
On the morning of Monday, the 23rd, Castiglione had 24 votes, including those from the accessio. In the afternoon, there were 26 votes for Castiglione, and 19 for Cappellari, who had replaced Pacca as an alternative candidate to one of the factions in the balloting. Those working for Cappellari included Guerrieri and Morozzo.
On the 24th there was a strange quiet among the leaders of the factions. Msgr.Dardano took it as a good sign that cardinals were discussing what the objectives of the new pope ought to be. it was noticed that Oppizoni was working on Testaferrata to vote with him for Castiglione. In the evening after the scrutiny, the Ambassador of Spain, the Duke of Labrador, was received by the College of Cardinals; his letters were read out and appropriate replies offered.
The morning of the 25th saw a great deal of bustle in the Conclave. The rumor had been going around that this was the day a pope would be elected. Every movement was seen to have significance. Cardinal Firrao actually managed to make it to the Pauline Chapel. Pallota came out of the Chapel after the scrutiny with a look of triumph on his face. Bussi and Fesch looked happy. Everyone who came out seem satisfied. When the results became known, : the votes had been cast as follows: 18 for Cappellari (plus 4 on the accessio), 14 for Castiglione (plus 9 on the accessio), 5 for Pacca (plus 6 on the accessio), and 2 for De Gregorio. Bertazzoli had one and so did Clermont Tonnere. It might seem that De Gregorio was finished, but that was not the case. And it did not mean that the cardinals were near to making a pope. On the next day the vote was still the same as on the morning of the 25th, give or take a vote or two.
Cardinal Pietro Gravina, the Archbishop of Palermo, entered Conclave in the afternoon of the 26th, raising the number of electors to 49, and the number needed to elect a pope to 33. The second scrutiny of the day gave 22 votes to De Gregorio (plus 2 on the accessio), 14 or 15 to Castiglione
On March 28, in the morning scrutiny, Castiglione received 13 votes (plus 11 on the accessio); De Gregorio had one less than on the previous day, 23; both Cappellari and Somaglia received several votes.
The French Cardinal de Clermont-Tonnerre entered the conclave late in the afternoon on March 28. He had with him written instructions from Chateaubriand (32-33):
... Now it is impossible to allow the elevation to the Sovereign Pontificate of a cardinal openly belonging to a crown, whether it be the crown of France or any other. Consequently, Monseigneur, I charge you, by virtue of my full powers as His Most Christian Majesty's Ambassador, and taking all the responsibility upon myself alone, to give the exclusion to M. the Cardinal Albani, if, one the one hand, by a fortuitous juncture, or, on the other, by a secret combination, he should come to obtain the majority of the suffrages.
It is apparent that Chateaubriand was completely out of touch with the events going on inside of the Conclave, and was issuing instructions based on his own antipathies rather than on real circumstances.
On Monday the 30th, De Gregorio had 23 votes in the morning scrutiny, and Castiglione 25 (plus a few more on the accessio). In the afternoon scrutiny, Castiglione received 21 (plus 7 on the accessio), and De Gregorio 19 (plus a few on the accessio)
At the scrutiny on the morning of March 31, Castiglione had 28 votes, de Gregorio 15, Cappellari 4. and Somaglia, Giustiniani and Fransoni one each; the the accessio, brought Castiglione 8 more votes, de Gregorio and Somaglia five each, and Giustiniani one. Though Castiglione barely had his two-thirds, another vote was ordered due to a slight irregularity, and he thereupon received 47 votes. Cartwright (p. 157) explains that the irregularity was in the mottoes that each cardinal added to his own ballot as a means of identification; at the accessio, the same motto is supposed to be used as at the scrutiny. Two cardinals chose not to do so, thereby invalidating the accessio. Their actions were undoubtedly deliberate, intended to give the opponents of Castiglione time to continue their plotting against his election. Francesco Cardinal Castiglione was elected, with the support of Cardinal Albani and the Austrian interest. He took the name Pius VIII, and named Cardinal Albani as his Secretary of State.
Prince Clemens von Metternich supplied his information about the election to his friend Count Tatischeff on April 6, 1829:
"He was elected at first by a majority of thirty-six; a slight error having appeared in the ballot, Cardinal Castiglione insisted on a fresh one. In this he obtained forty-seven votes—that is to say, almost unanimity. We had placed him at the head of those who would be desirable as Pontiffs. The French Cardinals joined our Cardinals. M. de Chateaubriand, on the contrary, patronised Gregorio.
The new Pope has given Gregorio the post of Grand Pénetencier, which he had just left; and nominated Albani State Secretary. Chateaubriand, in consequence, will have absolution. "
The Sede Vacante had lasted 49 days; the Conclave, which began on February 23, took 36 days.
Pius VIII was crowned in the Vatican Basilica on April 5, 1829. On Sunday, May 24, 1830, the Pope took possession of his cathedral church, S. Giovanni Laterano. Concerning the new pope, Chateaubriand noted (31):
Pius VIII is very learned, especially in matters of theology; he speaks French, but with less facility and grace than Leo XII. He is attacked on the right side with partial paralysis, and is subject to convulsive movements: the supreme power will cure him.
Chateaubriand was correct. The Supreme Power cured him on November 30, 1830.
An extensive, but discreet account of the Conclave of 1829 is given by Chevalier Alexis François Artaud de Montor, who was a well-informed eyewitness, in his Histoire du Pape Pie VIII (Paris 1844), pages 34-61. The French Ambassador to Rome, the Vicomte de Chateaubriand, wrote extensively in his celebrated Memoires d' outre-tombe about the conclave of 1829, as a person who knew intimately all the participants and witnessed the events personally: The Memoirs of François René Vicomte de Chateaubriand (translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos) Volume VI (London: Freemantle 1902) 1-49. Chateaubriand, however, nursed many grudges, not the least of which was against Comte Portalis, who paid little attention to him and did not make him Ambassador Extraordinary to the Conclave. Richard, Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, was in Rome during the conclave, and was in a position to hear a certain amount of information and gossip: The Private Diary of Richard, Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, K.G. Volume III (London 1862), 70-127. Monsignor Pietro Dardano (1791-1870) was present at the conclave, as conclavist of Cardinal Giuseppe Morozzo di Bianzè, and left a diary: David Silvagni, "Diario dei conclavi del 1829 e del 1830-31 di Mons. Pietro Dardano," Rivista europea 13 (Firenze 1879), 605-648. David Silvagni, La corte e la societa romana nei secoli XVIII e XIX Volume Terzo (Roma 1885), 253-303. Giovanni Berthelet, Conclavi, Pontefice e Cardinali nel Secolo XIX (Torino-Roma 1903). Giornale storico-politico ceremoniale della sede vacante e conclave per l' elezione di Pio VIII (Roma 1829) [Moroni, 53, 175]. Giornale della sede vacante: in cui si da distinta notizia di tutte le funzioni si sagre che civili... (Roma: Tipografia Arcivescovile [di Bologna] 1829).
See also: G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol 53 (Venezia 1846) p. 175-176 F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Volume 4 (Paris: 1866) 366-390 Memoirs of Prince Metternich (1815-1829) (edited by Prince Richard Metternich) (translated by Mrs. Alexander Napier) Volume IV (New York 1881) p. 617. See also: Lucius Lector [Joseph Guthlin], Le Conclave (Paris 1894), 491-494 (Cardinal Albani had authorization to use a veto against Cardinal di Gregorio, but he did not need to use it). Nicomede Bianchi, Storia documentata della diplomazia europea in Italia Volume II (Torino 1865).
Details about the positions held by the cardinals can be found in Notizie per l' anno MDCCCXXVIII (Roma: Stamperia Cracas, 1828).