The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Alexander VIII (1689-1691)
Consistory of November 7, 1689

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(1) 1. OTTOBONI, Pietro
(1667-1740)

Birth. July 2 (or 7), 1667, Venice. Only child of Antonio Ottoboni and Maria Moretti. Grand-nephew of Pope Alexander VIII.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Received the clerical tonsure and the minor orders, October 20, 1689. Referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace, October 20, 1689. Secretary of Memorialium and protonotary apostolic participantium.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of November 7, 1689; received the red hat and the title of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, pro illa vice deaconry, November 14, 1689. Superintendent general of the affairs of the Apostolic See, November 8, 1689 until 1691. Governor of the city of Fermo from November 8, 1689 until January 3, 1692. Governor of the city of Tivoli and of the territory of Capranica, November 8, 1689 until 1690. Vice-chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, November 14, 1689 until February 29, 1740. Legate in Avignon, January 11, 1690 until February 2, 1693, when the Congregation for the Affairs of Avignon was instituted. Participated in the conclave of 1691, which elected Pope Innocent XII. Participated in the conclave of 1700, which elected Pope Clement XI. Participated in the conclave of 1721, which elected Pope Innocent XIII. Participated in the conclave of 1724, which elected Pope Benedict XIII. Protector of France and as a consequence, abbot commendatario of several abbeys in that country, among them Marchiennes and Saint Paul de Verdun. Opted for the order of cardinal priests and his deaconry was elevated to title again, June 26, 1724. Received the subdiaconate, July 11, 1724; diaconate, July 13, 1724.

Priesthood. Ordained, July 14, 1724.

Episcopate. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Sabina, retaining in commendam and for life his title, January 29, 1725. Consecrated, February 4, 1725, Rome, by Pope Benedict XIII, assisted by Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci and Cardinal Francesco Barberini. Secretary of the Supreme S.C. of Roman and Universal Inquisition, June 14, 1726 until his death. Participated in the conclave of 1730, which elected Pope Clement XII. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Frascati, July 24, 1730. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Porto e Santa Rufina, December 15, 1734. Vice-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Ostia e Velletri, proper of the dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, September 3, 1738. Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian basilica. Archpriest of the patriarchal Lateran basilica, 1730. Grand prior of Ireland. He was a mecenas of the arts, especially music, and among his proteges were Arcàngelo Corelli, George Frederick Händel and Antonio Vivaldi. He even wrote texts of cantatas for some of them. Entered the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV; he became ill and left the conclave on February 25, 1740; died four days later.

Death. February 29, 1740, Rome, during the sede vacante. In the afternoon of that day, transferred to the church of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, where the funeral took place; and buried in the chapel of Santissimo Sacramento, which he had built for himself in that church.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 1-3; Weber, Christoph. Legati e governatori dello Stato Pontificio : 1550-1809. Roma : Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, Ufficio centrale per i beni archivistici, 1994. (Pubblicazioni degli archivi di Stato. Sussidi; 7) pp. and 131, 246, 405 and 812.

Webgraphy. Biography by Flavia Matitti, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 79 (2013), Treccani; his portrait and biography, in Italian, from "Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica di Gaetano Moroni (Venezia, 1851); portraits and brief biographical data, in Portuguese after the biography of his uncle, Pope Alexander VIII; biography, in Italian, diocese of Frascati; portrait by Francesco Trevisani, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, England; his portrait, Wikigallery; his engraving, Serlupi; engravings, haendel; Storia della Famiglia Ottoboni, Serlupi.

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