The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XI (1700-1721)
Consistory of March 15, 1717 (XII)
Celebrated in Rome


(56) 1. BORROMEO, Giberto Bartolomeo (1671-1740)

Birth. September 12, 1671, at 10:15 p.m., Milan. Baptized on September 17, 1671, in the church of S. Alessandro, Milan. Of the counts of Arona. Fifth of the nine children of Renato Borromeo, count of Arona and marchis of Anghera, and Giulia Arese. Nephew of Cardinal Giberto Borromeo, seniore (1652). Grand-uncle of Cardinal Vitaliano Borromeo (1766). Other cardinals of the family were Carlo Borromeo (1560); Federico Borromeo, seniore (1587); Federico Borromeo, iuniore (1670); and Edoardo Borromeo (1868).

Education. Destined to the ecclesiastical state, received the tonsure and the abbey of Viboldone, September 1683. Studied at Scuola Seminario of Milan from 1683 until 1690; at the University of Pavia, where he earned a doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law, on July 7, 1691); and in Milan, earning a doctorate in theology on November 9, 1691.

Early life. After finishing his studies, he went to Rome. Protonotary apostolic participant, March 27, 1692. Vice-legate in Bologna, September 29, 1692 to September/October 1693, when because of bad health returned to Milan and lived there until 1705. Apparently, he suffered from ipocondria and later from pellagra. Referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace, 1693.

Priesthood. Ordained, December 14, 1710.

Episcopate. Elected titular patriarch of Antioch, January 26, 1711. Consecrated, March 1, 1711, metropolitan cathedral of Milan, by Cardinal Giuseppe Archinto, archbishop of Milan, assisted by Girolamo Archinto, titular archbishop of Tarso, and by Giovanni Francesco Barbarigo, bishop of Verona. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, June 26, 1711. Abbot commendatario of Ss. Pietro e Paolo di Monforte, February 1712. Transferred to the see of Novara, retaining the titular patriarchate, January 17, 1714. Prefect of the Cubiculi of His Holiness, June 16, 1716.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 15, 1717; received the red hat and the title of S. Alessio, May 10, 1717. Participated in the conclave of 1721, which elected Pope Innocent XIII. Participated in the conclave of 1724, which elected Pope Benedict XIII. Participated in the conclave of 1730, which elected Pope Clement XII.

Death. January 22, 1740, Novara. Buried in the church of S. Marco, Novara; and later transferred to the chapel of S. Carlo, in the cathedral of Novara. His nephew, Count Giovanni Borromeo, placed an elegant inscription on his tomb. A large part of his book collection went to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana of Milan after his death.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 168-169; Notizie per l'anno 1736. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1736, p. 176; 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. 30, 43, 89 and 293; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), I, 130; 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. 157 and 519.

Links. His portrait, Novaria; and another portrait, Museo della Villa San Carlo Borromeo, Fondazione di cultura internazionale Armando Verdiglione.

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