The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XI (1700-1721)
Consistory of January 30, 1713 (VIII)
Celebrated in Rome


(45) 1. ERBA-ODESCALCHI, Benedetto (1679-1740)

Birth. August 7, 1679, Como. From an ancient and noble family. Son of Senator Antonio Maria Erba (or Herba), Milanese patrician and marquis of Mondonico (son of Lucrezia Odescalchi, sister of Pope Innocent XI), and his second wife, Teresa Turconi. He was baptized on the same day of his birth by Father Carlo Antonio Pietro in the church of S. Domenico, Como, with the name Benedetto Gaetano Giuseppe. He assumed the last name Odescalchi because the last male member of that family, a cousin of his father named Livio Odescalchi, did not have any children and in 1709 he and his brothers took that last name. He had four brothers: Girolamo, Alessandro, Baldassare and Innocenzo. Grand-nephew of Pope Innocent XI, on his mother's side. Uncle of Cardinal Antonio Maria Erba-Odescalchi (1759). Grand-uncle of Cardinal Carlo Odescalchi, S.J. (1823). His last name is also listed as Odescalchi-Erba; and as Odescalchus-Herba.

Education. He studied rhetoric, philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary of Milan; he continued his studies at Seminario Romano; and later, he studied at the University of Pavia, where he earned a doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law, on February 23, 1700.

Early life. Received the insignias of the clerical character on February 28, 1689; and the first tonsure on November 28, 1689. Referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace in 1706. Domestic prelate of His Holiness. Relator of the S.C. of Good Government, January 1, 1708. Vice-legate in Ferrara, April 18, 1709. Vice-legate in Bologna, July 31, 1710 until September 10, 1710. Received the minor orders on September 29, 1711; the subdiaconate on October 4, 1711; and the diaconate on October 11, 1711; he received all of them from Cardinal Lorenzo Casoni.

Priesthood. Ordained, October 18, 1711, also by Cardinal Casoni. Ascribed to the parish church of St. Satyrus of Milan.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Tessalonica, December 18, 1711. Consecrated, probably on December 20, 21, or 27, 1711, in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome, by Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci, secretary of State. Nuncio in Poland, January 25, 1712. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, January 25, 1712. After traveling through Vienna and Kraków, he arrived in Warsaw on April 22, 1712. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Milan, October 5, 1712; he arrived in the see in February 1714. He received the pallium on November 27, 1712.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of January 30, 1713; the pope sent him the red biretta with an apostolic brief dated February 18, 1713; received the red biretta on April 21, 1713, in the Collegiate Church of St. John the Baptist, Warsaw, from King Augustus II of Poland; received the red hat on March 14, 1715; and the title of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo, April 1, 1715. Participated in the conclave of 1721, which elected Pope Innocent XIII. Participated in the conclave of 1724, which elected Pope Benedict XIII. Opted for the title of Ss. XII Apostoli, January 29, 1725. Participated in the conclave of 1730, which elected Pope Clement XII. Resigned government of the archdiocese for gravi motivi di salute, serious reasons of health (an apoplexy), December 6, 1736. Did not participate in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV.

Death. December 13, 1740, in his palace in via Unione, Milan. Buried in the church of S. Giovanni in Conca, of the Carmelites of the Congregation of Mantua. The church was demolished in 1949 and only the crypt was preserved.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 152-153; Cazzani, Eugenio. Vescovi e arcivescovi di Milano. Nuova ed./ a cura di Angelo Majo, 2. ed. Milano : Massimo : NED, 1996. Note: Originally published 1955, now enlarged and updated, p. 248-252; Majo, Angelo. Storia della chiesa ambrosiana. 5 vols. 2nd ed. Milano : NED, 1983-1986, III, 96-97, 99-102 and 109; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, XLVIII, 269-270; Notizie per l'anno 1721. Rome : Nella Stamperia di Gio: Francesco Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1721, p. 121, no. 42; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen V (1667-1730). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1952, pp. 29, 44, 49, 263 and 377; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), II, 677; 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. 158, 253 and 651.

Links. His engraving and biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; his engraving by Martin Bernigeroth, Antiquariat Hille, Berlin; his portrait by Pierre Subleyras, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, Fondazione Federico Zeri; another portrait by Pierre Subleyras, Heim, London, Fondazione Federico Zeri; Serie cronologica dei vescovi di Milano (III-XXI secolo), in Italian, archdiocese of Milan.

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(46) 2. SCHÖNBORN, Damian Hugo Philipp von (1676-1743)

Birth. September 19, 1676, Mainz (1). Of a noble family. Son of Melchior Friedrich von Schönborn, imperial privy councilor, minister of State, and grand marshal, and Maria Sophia von Boineburg, daughter of the minister of State of Mainz. He was the third son of eighteen children, fourteen of whom reached adulthood. He was the nephew of Prince Archbishop Lothar Franz von Schönborg of Mainz; and grand-nephew of Johann Philipp von Schönborg, also prince archbishop of Mainz. He also was nephew of Emperor Leopold I of Austria. He was a baron from birth and since 1701 a count. His last name is also listed as Schönborn Bushein.

Education. Received his initial education in his family's castle in Mainz; then, he atteneded the Jesuit Gymnasium in Würzburg; and later, he also attended the University of Mainz; from 1693 to 1695, he studied, together with his younger brother Franz Erwein, at Collegio Germanico, Rome; he was a student of future Cardinal Giovanni Battista Tolomei, S.J. Then in 1698, he studied international law at the University of Louvain. In that same year, he received the clerical tonsure.

Early life. Entered the Teutonic Order and became a knight very young. Led a company in the Imperial Army, 1698-1699. He served under several imperial general like Field Marshal Karl Johann Graf von Thüngen. In 1699, in Altenbiesen, Maastricht, took place his investiture as a Teutonic knight and he made his profession. The following year, 1700, he was transferred to the Bailiwick of Hesse and given the title of Commander of Felsberg, near Kassel. Soon afterwards he was entrusted the commandery of Oberflörsheim in Rheinhessen. In 1701, he became coadjutor of the commander; and in 1703, Commander of the bailiwicks of Hessen in Marburg nd of Altenbiesen (he occupied the posts until his death); and privy of the Teutonic High Council, as well as advisor of his uncle, the archbishop of Mainz. In 1706, he went as an envoy of his order to the imperial court, where he received from Emperor Joseph I the confirmation of the order's privileges and the grand master investiture with the fiefdom of the Order. In 1708 the emperor ordered to go as his authorized representative to the Lower Saxony district. His main task was there the administration of the territory of Hadeln and its protection against the claims of Hanover. Grand Master Schönborn was then active in the difficult areas that had been won by the Northern War and increased the imperial importance and influence in the region of Brandenburg-Prussia. Conducted diplomatic missions to Hanover and Berlin. Commander of the Teutonic Order. Provost of the churches of Weissenburg and of Odenheim. Minister of state of Mainz. Minister of state of the grand master of the Teutonic Order. Ambassador to the Congress of Brunswick, 1712.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal and reserved in pectore in the consistory of January 30, 1713. In 1714, the emperor named him president a congress convened in Brunswick for the settlement of the war, however, his mission did not lead to success. August the Strong of Saxony had already presented him as candidates for the Polish cardinalate. His cardinalitial creation was published in the consistory of May 29, 1715; the pope sent him the red biretta with an apostolic brief dated June 28, 1715.

Episcopate. Elected bishop coadjutor of Speyer by its cathedral chapter, July 21, 1716; his election took place after a serious conflict with the imperial city of Speyer for the control the episcopal succession, and owed his election primarily to the influence of his uncle, the Archbishop of Mainz Lothar Franz von Schönborn. Preconized coadjutor of Speyer, with right of succession, October 5, 1716. In 1718, Coadjutor bishop Schönborn also became provost of the monastery of Bruchsai-Odenheim. Until the death of the bishop of Speyer, Heinrich Hartard von Rollingen, Coadjutor Bishop Schönborn exerted no influence on the diocese. He became bishop of Speyer on November 30, 1719.

Priesthood. Ordained, August 15, 1720. Received the episcopal consecration on February 24, 1721, at Bruchsal, from Johann Edmund von Jugenfeld, titular bishop of Mallo, assisted by Johann Baptist Gegg, titular bishop of Trapezopoli, and by Johann Hahn, titular bishop of Metellopoli. Participated in the conclave of 1721, which elected Pope Innocent XIII; he arrived on May 7, the day before it ended, with a large entourage. Received the red hat on June 10, 1721; and the title of S. Nicola in Carcere Tulliano, June 16, 1721. Opted for the order of priests and the title of S. Pancrazio, September 10, 1721. Granted dispensation to be elected bishop coadjutor of Konstanz, March 10, 1722. Elected bishop coadjutor of Konstanz by its cathedral chapter, May 18, 1722. Preconized coadjutor of Konstanz, with right of succession, retaining the see of Speyer, March 15, 1723. Did not participate in the conclave of 1724, which elected Pope Benedict XIII. In 1724, he founded a seminary in Bruchsal and mandated that the curate should be chosen only from the graduates of the seminary; he also established that each priest had to participate once a year in spiritual exercises; the cardinal tried to know all the priests of the diocese in person; and if there was a disciplinary offense, he imposed a fine. Opted for the title of S. Maria della Pace on December 23, 1726. Participated in the conclave of 1730, which elected Pope Clement XII; he had to leave the conclave because of illness on July 1, 1730; he was not present when the new pope was elected the following July 12. Did not participate in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV. Succeeded to the see of Konstanz, July 12, 1740.

During his episcopate the diocese reached a peak. The years of peace - solely interrupted by the Polish Succession war in 1733-1735 - allowed the reactivation of church and state life. There was an economic and cultural consolidation and at the same time, it blossomed. His experience from his work as the Lord Commander greatly served the efforts for the economic reconstruction. The prerequisite to this was a tight budget, which provided material support for numerous construction projects. He also reorganized the government. When he encountered difficulties in the town council of Speyer to restore the Episcopal palace, he decided to build a residence in Bruchsal, which was worthy of the princely status. It was started in 1722, planned by Architect Maximilian von Welsch, but the cardinal died before its completion. A number of other architects, as Balthasar Neumann in 1728, also worked in the project. He not only provided the design for the staircase, but also supervised the construction until his death. In addition to the residence, the church Sankt Peter, which had been destroyed in 1689, was rebuilt as the bishop's tomb. An old moated castle was rebuilt as a summer residence and Kislau Waghdusel as hermitage, near a shrine. The construction of the residence cost the cardinal one million guilders, and his successor another 1.8 million to complete. As the cardinal virtually ignored the reconstruction of the cathedral of Speyer, he found himself in conflict with the cathedral chapter. His uncle the archbishop, and Franz Georg, the cardinal's brother, who was the dean of the cathedral chapter, also intervened in the dispute. The archbishop turned to the royal court and Cardinal Schönborn to the Roman Curia. Pope Benedict XIII urged him to give in, while the emperor, in 1730, annulled the jurisdiction of the chapter. Then the cardinal asked the University of Louvain for a legal opinion. As a result, there was not an agreement between the parties, but the court sided with the cardinal due to his high rank and his contacts with the papal curia. Cardinal Schönborn implemented in his diocese a variety of pastoral and regulations by which he sought to reform it with the Tridentine decrees; since 1725, he had been a member of the S.C. of the Tridentine Council. A particular concern was the raising of the school system. The cardinal was personally modest and he suffered from scruples that his confessor, George Ulrich Kellermann, increased rather than resolved, and at times led to depression. He had had health problems since he suffered from malaria during his Roman studies. He lived to see the decline of the Schönborn era.

Death. August 19, 1743, Bruschal, see of the diocese of Speyer. Exposed and buried in the church of St. Peter, Bruchsal, which he had built.

Bibliography. Ammerich, Hans. "Schönborn, Damian Hugo Philipp Reischsfreiherr (seit 1701 Reischsgraf) von (1670-1743)." Die Bischöfe des Heiligen Römischen Reiches, 1648 bis 1803 : ein biographisches Lexikon. Herausgegeben von Erwin Gatz, unter Mitwirkung von Stephan M. Janker. Berlin : Duncker & Humblot, 1990, pp. 430-432; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 154; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen V (1667-1730). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1952, p. 29, 48, 49, 55, 170 and 362; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, p. 4.

Links. Biography by Christof Dahm, in German, Biographisch-Bibliographischen Kirchenlexikons; his portrait, Wikipedia; his portrait in the dome of the staircase of the Bruchsal Residence Palace; his effigy on several medals, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; and his tomb, on the left, in the church of St. Peter, Bruchsal.

(1) Some sources give September 9 and December 1, 1676, as his date of birth.

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