The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Paul V (1605-1621)
Consistory of March 26, 1618 (VIII)
Celebrated in Rome


(48) 1. GONDI, Henri de (1563-1622)

Birth. 1572 (1), Paris. Second child of Albert de Gondi, duke de Retz, marquis of Belle-Isle, peer and marshal of France, and Baroness Claude-Catherine de Clermont-Dapierre. The other siblings were Charles (marquis of Belle Isle), Claude Marguerite, Louise, Philippe Emmanuel (count of Joigny, marquis of Isles d' Or), Jean François (first archbishop of Paris), Françoise, Gabrielle, Hyppolite and Madeleine. His last name is also listed as Gondy; and as Gondus. Called Cardinal de Retz. Nephew and successor in the see of Paris of Cardinal Pierre de Gondi (1587). Uncle of Cardinal Jean-François-Paul de Gondi de Retz (1652). The family was originally from Florence.

Education. Obtained a licentiate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law.

Early life. Maître of the oratory of the king. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Paris from September 1587. Abbot commendatario of Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé from 1588. Abbot commendatario of la Chaume, Saint-Jean des Vignes, in Soissons, and Buzay.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Paris, June 16, 1597 (2). Consecrated, March 1, 1598, Paris, by Cardinal Pierre de Gondi, former bishop of Paris, assisted by Armand Sorbin, bishop of Nevers, and by René Potier, bishop of Beauvais. Participated in the États-Généreaux of 1614 and 1615. Provisor of La Sorbonne, 1616. Member of the Royal Council; and, from 1619, its chief . Abbot commendatario of Notre Dame de la Couronne, Angoumois, 1619. Member of the Ecclesiastical Department.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 26, 1618; never went to Rome to receive the red hat and the title. Commander of the Order of Saint-Esprit, 1619. Did not participate in the conclave of 1621, which elected Pope Gregory XV.

Death. August 14, 1622, Paris (3). Buried in the chapel of Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs (Gondi chapel), in the cathedral of Paris. Around September 1, 1622, the news of his death reached Rome.

Bibliography. Berton, Charles. Dictionnaire des cardinaux, contenant des notions générales sur le cardinalat, la nomenclature complète ..., des cardinaux de tous les temps et de tous les pays ... les détails biographiques essentiels sur tous les cardinaux ... de longues études sur les cardinaux célèbre .... Paris : J.-P. Migne, 1857 ; Facsimile edition. Farnborough ; Gregg, 1969, col. 1015; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, VI, 195-196; Chapeau, O.S.B. André and Fernand Combaluzier, C.M. Épiscopologe français des temps modernes, 1592-1973. Paris : Letouzey et Ané, 1974, p. 319-320; Gauchat, Patritium. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen IV (1592-1667). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1967, pp. 13 and 274.

Links. Engraving by Claude Duflos, Musée Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon; his egenealogy, Geneall; engraving and prosopography, in German, Requiem Datenbak; engraving and arms, Requiem Datenbank; his engraving by Claude Duflos, Wikipedia; his arms, seventh from the top, Arnaud Bunel, Héraldique européenne; engravings, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) This is according to Jean, Les évêques et les archevêques de France. Depuis 1682 jusqu'a 1801, p. 282; Zedler, Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschafften und Künste; and the page with his arms linked above. Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, VI, 195, says that he died in 1622 in età di cerca sessant'anni", near the age of 60.
(2) This is according to Gauchat, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, IV, 270, which also indicates that Julien de Saint-Germain, titular bishop of Cesarea, was coadjutor, with right of succession, of Cardinal Pierre de Gondi from July 18, 1583. Jean, Les évêques et les archevêques de France. Depuis 1682 jusqu'a 1801, p. 282, says that he was named coadjutor of his uncle Cardinal Pierre de Gondi by King Henri IV in 1596.
(3) Gauchat, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, IV, 13; says that alios indicate he died in Béziers on August 22. Dictionnaire des cardinaux, col. 1015, says that he died on August 3, 1622 in Béziers; Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, VI, 195, indicates that he died in Béziers in 1622; and Chapeau, Épiscopologe français des temps modernes, 1592-1973, p. 318-320, says that he died on August 12, 1622 in Béziers.

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(49) 1. ROJAS de SANDOVAL, Francisco Gómez (1553-1625)

Birth. 1553, Tordesillas (1), Valladolid, Spain. Son of Francisco Sandoval y Rojas, third count of Lerma and fourth marquis of Denia, and Isabel de Borja, daughter of the duke of Gandía, Saint Francisco de Borja, S.J., third superior general of the Society of Jesus. Of the dukes of Lerma. Uncle of Cardinal Baltasar Moscoso y Sandoval (1615). Second cousin of Cardinal Bernardo de Rojas y Sandoval (1599). He is also listed as Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Borja, and as Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas; and his last name is also listed Gómez Rojas de Sandoval but at the time, Gómez was still a first name.

Education. Educated in the palace of his uncle, Cristóbal de Rojas y Sandoval, bishop of Badajoz (1556-1562).

Early life. Entered the Spanish court at 3 years of age. Menino of Prince Charles and Princess Isabel de Valois. In his youth he seemed inclined to dedicate himself to the church but later he decided to pursued his courtesan life and became gentilhombre de cámara of King Felipe II. In 1576, he married Catalina de la Cerda, daughter of the duke of Medinacelli (2). Infant Felipe, a timid young man, placed all his trust in the count (3). Named by King Felipe II viceroy of Valencia in 1595 to distance him from his son the Infant Felipe; returned from Valencia a year and a half later and as soon as the king died, he was named valido by his successor the new King Felipe III, occupying the post from 1598 until 1618. Given the title of duke of Lerma, November 11, 1599. When his wife died in 1603, he experimented the first of his frequent nervous depressions. Then, it was rumored that he planned to become a Franciscan. In 1607, it was said in the court that the duke wanted to enter the Society of Jesus or to retire to a monastery but that the king had not granted him license to do so. He pursued a pacific foreign policy, ending in 1604 the war with England and securing the Twelve Year Truce with the Netherlands in 1609. He acted with energy with Carlo Emmanuele, duke of Savoy, who wanted to debilitate the Spanish position in Italy, until he was integrated into the orbit of Spanish hegemony. In the case of the Albanians who asked for help from Spain in their revolt against the Turks, he was totally irresolute and offered only a token assistance. Within Spain, he concentrated mainly on enriching himself. The most vigorous action taken by his administration was the expulsion of the Moriscos (4), 1609-1614. The economic crisis of 1607-1609, caused mostly by the extravagance of the court and the administrative corruption, hurt his prestige and made evident a series of irregularities that he could not hide. Later, in 1610, when he was 57 years old, he almost married the countess of Valencia, a 40-year old rich widow. At the last minute, when everything was ready, he canceled the wedding through a Dominican friar, leaving the countess very resentful. The fall of some of his collaborators was unavoidable and in 1613 he could not prevent the disgrace of his closest assistant, Rodrigo Calderón, marquis of Siete Iglesias. Besides, the confessor of the king, Friar Luis de Aliaga, and the counts of Lemos and Olivares, were conspiring against him. Moreover, his own son, the marquis of Cea, without directly undermining him, aspired to be his replacement. When the valido saw that the trust of the king in him was eroding, he negotiated and obtained his promotion to the cardinalate as a means to save himself from any reprisals (5).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 26, 1618; with dispensation for having a nephew in the Sacred College of Cardinals. In October 1618, the king invited him to retire to his possessions (6). Did not participate in the conclave of 1621, which elected Pope Gregory XV. Received the red hat and the title of S. Sisto, March 1621 (7).

Priesthood. Ordained in 1622, celebrated his first mass on March 28, 1622 in the church of San Pablo, Valladolid. He celebrated mass every day "with great devotion and tears" (8). When the dying King Felipe III was presented with a list of prisoners and exiles to be forgiven, he granted the grace to all except the cardinal-duke. When he learned the news, he started from Valladolid to Madrid but half way through, he was commanded by the count of Olivares, favorite of the heir to the Spanish throne who professed an implacable hatred for the cardinal, to return to Valladolid. The cardinal was in Villacastin and remained there until he learned of the death of the king. Then he went back to Valladolid to celebrate the requiem in the church of San Pablo. He was ordered by the count of Olivares to reside in Tordesillas but he did not obey and appealed to the pope. Pope Gregory XV and the Sacred College defended him considering his banishment as an attempt against ecclesiastical freedom and the prestige of the cardinalate. In September 1621, Cardinal Caffarelli-Borghese asked the nuncio to express to King Felipe IV his surprise and indignation for that abuse. No temporal power, no matter how great, had the authority to judge the cardinals, whichever were the motives, under pain of incurring ecclesiastical censures. The only competent judge was the pope. To him should the king go. If the cardinal was found guilty, he would receive the deserved sanction. These interventions alleviated the situation of the cardinal, who was allowed to reside in Valladolid. Did not participate in the conclave of 1623, which elected Pope Urban VIII. After an inquiry ordered by King Felipe IV in 1621, the cardinal was sentenced on August 3, 1624, to return to the state over a million ducados. His major character flaws were his venality, nepotism, and his boundless desire to accumulate wealth (9).

Death. May 17, 1625, Valladolid. Buried in the major chapel of the church of San Pablo, Valladolid. His statue at prayer was placed next to his tomb and later transferred to the Museo Nacional de Escultura de Valladolid.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, VI, 196; Goñi, José. "Gómez Sandoval y Rojas, Francisco." Diccionario de Historia Eclesiástica de España, Dirigido por Quintín Aldea Vaquero, Tomás Marín Martínez, José Vives Gatell. Madrid : Instituto Enrique Flórez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1972-1975. 4 v. II, 371-374; Pérez Bustamante, Ciriaco. "Los cardenalatos del duque de Lerma y del infante don Fernando de Austria." Boletín de la Biblioteca Meléndez Pelayo 16 (1934), 246-272 and 503-532; Pérez Bustamante, Ciriaco. Felipe III. Semblanza de un monarca y perfiles de una privanza. Madrid : [s.n.], 1950; Juderías y Loyot, Julián. "Los comienzos de una privanza." La Lectura : revista de ciencias y de artes, (1915), 413 ff; Crowe, Eyre Evans Lives of the most eminent foreign statesmen. London ; Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, 1832-1838. 5 v. Contents : v. 1. Cardinal Amboise. Ximenes. Leo the tenth. Cardinal Granvelle, and Maurice of Saxony. Barneveldt. Sully. Duke of Lerma. Duke of Ossuno. Lorenzo de' Medici.--v. 2 Armand Jean duPlessis, cardinal de Richelieu. Axel, count Oxensteirn [sic] Gaspar de Guzman, count Olivarez, duke of San Lucar. Julius, cardinal Mazarin.--v. 3. Jean François Paul de Gondi, cardinal de Retz. Jean Baptiste Colbert, marquis de Seignelai. John de Witt, grand pensionary of Holland. François Michel Le Tellier, marquis de Louvoms.--v. 4. Louis de Haro. Cardinal Dubois. Cardinal Alberoni. John William, duke of Ripperda.--v. 5. Andrew Hercules, cardinal de Fleury. Philip Louis, count Zinzendorf, Sebastian Joseph, marquis of Pombal. Joseph Moñino, count of Florida Blanca. Stephen Francis, duke of Choiseul. James Necker.

Links. Portrait and biography, in Spanish, La Web de las Biografías; portraits and biography, in Spanish, Wikipedia; portrait and prosopography, in German, Requiem Datenbank; engraving, portraits and arms, Araldica Vaticana; statues of the duke and duchess of Lerma at prayer by Pompeo Leoni, Juan de Arfe and Lesmes Fernández del Moral, Museo Nacional de Escultura de Valladolid; brief biography, in English; biography, in Spanish; and his portrait, by Peter Paul Rubens; Retrato del Cardenal Duque de Lerma, Don Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas - Cuadro by an anonymous artist [Taller vallisoletano], ca. 1625, Museo Nacional de Escultura, Europeana; El duque de Lerma y las fundaciones en su villa antes de su cardenalato by Luis Cervera Vera, La Imprenta Ducal de Lerma, Universidad de Burgos (UBU).

(1) Most sources give 1553 as the year of his birth but The British Encyclopedia and Diccionario Hispano Americano mention 1552. Likewise, most sources say that he was born in Tordesillas, but Gran Enciclopedia Española indicates that he was born in Sevilla.
(2) Her dowry consisted of 30,000 ducados.
(3) According to his biography in Spanish, linked above, he was hombre que sabía hacerse grato a cualquier persona. Tenía una habilidad especial para encontrar el gesto apropiado o la palabra oportuna en cada situación; era amable, servicial y discreta e inteligentemente adulador, a man who knew to make himself pleasant to any person. He had an ability to find the appropriate gesture of the opportune word in each situation; he was amiable, helpful and discrete and intelligently adulating.
(4)The Moors who had been baptized and stayed in Spain after the Reconquest.
(5) Goñi, "Gómez Sandoval y Rojas, Francisco", Diccionario de Historia Eclesiástica de España, II, 371-373, narrates the process of his promotion to the cardinalate: On May 1, 1614, the nuncio in Spain communicated Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli-Borhese, secretary of State, that the duke of Lerma wished capriciously to become a cardinal. The nuncio said that Gabriel Trejo, also a candidate to the purple and confidant of the duke, had manifested it as the most secret matter. In his judgment, in the lamentable decision had influence a double motive: the duke's inclination for ecclesiastical things and his wish to free himself from the marriage with the countess of Valencia.There was also a third and more influential motive: in case he fell from grace, he wanted to protect himself from any contingency. It seems that Rodrigo Calderón was the one who advised him to become a cardinal. On July 27, 1614, the nuncio wrote the cardinal secretary of State that the rumor was that if his uncle Cardinal Bernardo de Rojas y Sandoval, archbishop of Teledo, who was ill, would die, the duke wanted to succeed him in that see and become a cardinal. The king's confessor, Friar Luis de Aliaga, O.P., who wanted by all means to impede the promotion, had a brilliant idea: to suggest the candidacy for both position of Infant Fernando de Austria, third son of King Felipe III, giving the administration of the archdiocese to an honest and trustworthy prelate. He thought that if the king suggested the promotion of his son, the duke of Lerma and any other competitor would not pursue their aspirations. While his uncle was alive, the duke could not request the primatial see but he was urging his quick promotion to the cardinalate. He wanted to be named immediately, alone and before the general creation of new cardinals. The Holy See tried to make him abandon the idea with multiple arguments: the prejudice he would cause the interests of the monarchy if he left its businesses; the difficulties that such special treatment would create for the pope (in the last creation in 1616 in which his nephew --Cardinal Moscoso-- and a close collaborator --Cardinal Trejo-- had been promoted, almost provoked the breaking of diplomatic relations with France); and the difficulty with the bull of Pope Sixtus V which excluded from the cardinalate those who had children. If the duke seriously desired to become a cardinal, and it was not a simple whim, like when he thought of becoming a friar, retiring from the court or getting married again, he should content himself with being named along with others like was the custom. Before this dispatch from the secretariat of State arrived in Madrid, The duke had again spoken to the nuncio about his promotion to the cardinalate. The nuncio promised the Holy See to use all his resources to dissuade the duke but he foresaw the difficulty of convincing such a capricious person accustomed to obtain everything he wanted (November 16, 1616). For the moment the nuncio thought it was better to keep the matter quiet but in an audience with the duke in January 1617, the latter insisted with urgency as if the bestowing of the red hat was in the nuncio's hands. The difficulties increased his wishes until becoming a real obsession, convincing the nuncio of the impossibility of dissuading the duke. On August 25, 1617, the king wrote the pope a letter by his own hand requesting the promotion. Cardinal Antonio Zapata y Cisneros, archbishop of Burgos, on November 30, 1617, expressed that it would be useful for the Holy See to name him without waiting for a regular consistory. Pope Paul V delayed his decision until March 26, 1618 when he promoted the duke of Lerma to the cardinalate together with Henri de Gondi, bishop of Paris, recommended by Queen Marie de' Medici, to avoid a hostile reaction from France. The extraordinary mail dispatched by Cardinal Caffarelli Borghese with the news of the appointment arrived in Madrid after midnight on April 10, 1618. The nuncio immediately sent an emissary to communicate the duke the good news but he was not received until the following morning because no one dared to wake the duke up.
(6) The king asked Friar Juan de Peralta, prior of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, to tell the cardinal-duke how much he had always estimated his house and his person and the great trust the he had always placed on him and assuring him that he would never forget his loyalty and services; and the king added that what the cardinal-duke had so often asked for his rest, quietude and tranquility, he now could grant and allowed him to retire to Lerma or Valladolid when he wished. The cardinal, who had foreseen this, bid farewell to the king, left through a secret stairwell and went to Lerma, Goñi, "Gómez Sandoval y Rojas, Francisco." Diccionario de Historia Eclesiástica de España, II, 372.
(7) Goñi, "Gómez Sandoval y Rojas, Francisco", Diccionario de Historia Eclesiástica de España, II, 372, indicates that on July 17, 1618, Francesco Cennini, bishop of Amelia, was named the new nuncio in Spain. He brought with him the red hat for the cardinal-duke. A bull of Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590), had ordered that the cardinals go to Rome to receive the red hat but in attention to his advanced age --he was thought to be a septuagenarian-- and his grave occupations, an exception was made with him, something that was not well received in the French court. Shortly before arriving in Madrid, the nuncio learned of the fall of the valido and of his departure from the court. Not knowing if he should impose the red hat in Madrid or in Lerma, the nuncio wrote Rome for instructions on October 24, 1618. The response was dispatched on March 12, 1619. The duke asked for permission to receive the red hat in the court but it was denied, and the nuncio did not want to send it to Lerma.The illness of the duke caused new delay. He moved to Valladolid. His attitude continued to be disconcerting. He both spread the rumor that he was going to enter the Society of Jesus (according to a dispatch of October 17, 1619 from the nuncio to Rome) and again invited the countess of Valencia to marry him, resolved to resign the cardinalate. The former bride refused, making him abandon all hope for ever. The news spread and he was the object of jokes with little decorum for the cardinalitial dignity. If hte duke asked again for the red hat, the nuncio wrote to Rome, on November 22, 1620, that he would delay the matter until receiving new instructions considering his conduct. A month later, the cardinal-duke wanted to be ordained a priest and again requested the red hat. On December 20, 1620, the countess of Lemos, sister of the cardinal, communicated to the nuncio that he had decided to receive the sacred order and be a good ecclesiastic. For that, he was requesting certain dispensations from Rome and the support of the nuncio.The papal representative expressed his amazement for the plan of the cardinal to get married without the license of the pope, thus showing very little esteem for such a great dignity. The countess excused his brother saying that he had done that because of the scruples he had for not having fulfill the promise but that he was certain that the countess of Valencia was not going to accept and thus he could receive the sacred orders without scruples. And, what if the countess would have accepted?, the nuncio asked. The court believed that this second tentative of getting married was as serious as the first one. The nuncio added that if the duke had those scruples, he should have resolved them before requesting the cardinalate and not after having received it for a long time. And that if he wanted to do it now, he should first ask license from the pope and show so little esteem for the pontiff and even less for the dignity. The countess did not know what to answer. and said that she would try to influence her brother to ask the pope forgiveness. All of this was communicated to Rome on December 29, 1620. In effect, the duke asked for forgiveness limiting himself to say that he felt he acted out of ignorance without really thinking what happened with the matter. On March 11, 1621, he was granted dispensation of all irregularities to received the sacred orders and in that same month he was assigned the title of S. Sisto, which means that he had also received the red hat.
(8) Goñi, "Gómez Sandoval y Rojas, Francisco." Diccionario de Historia Eclesiática de España, II, 373.
(9) This is according to his biography, in Spanish, linked above. It says that during his term in office he accumulated about 40 millions of ducados.

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