The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XII (1730-1740)
Consistory of October 2, 1730 (II)
Celebrated in Rome


(2) 1. ALDOBRANDINI, Alessandro (1667-1734)

Birth. May 1, 1667, Florence. Of a patrician family. Seventh of the eight children of Giovanni Francesco Aldobrandini and Camilla Pasquali. He is also listed as Alender Aldobrandinus. Half-nephew of Cardinal Baccio Aldobrandini (1652). The family gave the Church Pope Clement VIII; and Cardinals Giovanni Aldobrandini (1570); Pietro Aldobrandini (1593); Silvestro Aldobrandini, O.S.Io.Hieros. (1603); and Ippolito Aldobrandini, iuniore (1621).

Education. Went to Rome and studied at Seminario Romano; and later, at the University of Pisa (doctorate in utroque iure, December 19, 1697).

Early life. Privy chamberlain of His Holiness Pope Innocent XII. Canon of the patriarchal Liberian basilica, Rome, June 1696. Referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace, May 14, 1699. Vice-legate in Ferrara, 1701. Commissary of the army in the cities of Parma and Piacenza, 1702 until May 1706; at the time, the duchy of Parma was occupied the French and Austrian armies; he fulfilled his duties with success and to the satisfaction of all parties, especially the duke and his daughter, Lisabetta, later queen of Spain. Cleric of the Reverend Apostolic Chamber, October 21, 1706.Governor of Cesi, 1707, which was a dependency of th chamber.

Priesthood. Ordained, October 16, 1707.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Rodi, November 7, 1707. Consecrated, November 27, 1707, patriarchal Lateran basilica, by Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci; in the same ceremony was consecrated Pier Marcellino Corradini, titular archbishop of Atene, future cardinal. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, November 23, 1707. Nuncio in Naples, December 20, 1707. Nuncio in Venice, September 23, 1713. Nuncio in Spain, July 1, 1720.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of October 2, 1730; with an apostolic brief of October 3, 1730, the pope sent him the red biretta; received the red hat on July 19, 1731; and the title of Ss. Quattro Coronati, September 3, 1731. Legate in Ferrara, December 11, 1730 (or August 3, 1731) until his death. He was an erudite who protected the men of letters.

Death. August 14, 1734, Ferrara, victim of the gout. Exposed and buried in the church of S. Girolamo of the Carmelites Discalced, Ferrara.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 246-247; Notizie per l'anno 1736. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1736, p. 203, no. 16; 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. 333; 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, pp. 5 and 42; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), I, 33; 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. 253, 254 and 449.

Links. His portrait, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali; and his engraving by Rocco Pozi, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek.

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(3) 2. GRIMALDI, Girolamo (1674-1733)

Birth. November 15. 1674, Genoa. Of a senatorial family. Eldest of the five children of Ranieri Grimaldi and Gironima Cuniquez, from Spain. He was baptized, November 15, 1674. The family gave the church another three cardinals: Girolamo Grimaldi (1527), Girolamo Grimaldi-Cavalleroni (1643) and Nicola Grimaldi (1706).

Education. Studied at the University of Avignon (doctorate in utroque iure, June 26, 1705). Received the minor orders, September 8, 1708; subdiaconate, March 17, 1709; diaconate, March 19, 1709.

Early life. Internuncio in Brussels, May 1705.

Priesthood. Ordained, April 7, 1709.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Edessa in Osrhoëne, October 5, 1712. Consecrated April 9, 1713, Carthusian monastery, Ghent, by Philippe Ehrard Van der Noot, bishop of Ghent, assisted by Pierre Lambert Ledrou, titular bishop of Porfireone, and by Francois Joseph von Franken Sierdsdorf, bishop of Anvers. Nuncio in Poland, December 20, 1712. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, January 17, 1713. Attended the council celebrated in 1719 by the Greek-Ruthenian bishops in union with Rome, which issued canons for reform and ecclesiastical discipline that were approved by Pope Innocent XIII. Apostolic visitor to the Armenian Church in the city and diocese of Lvov, Poland, June 21, 1720. Apostolic visitor to the Ruthenian Church in all Russia and Lithuania, June 22, 1720. Nuncio in Austria, November 15, 1720, succeeding Nuncio Giorgio Spinola, who had been promoted to the cardinalate; reappointed by the new Pope Innocent XIII, May 24, 1721; took possession, September 1721.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of October 2, 1730; with an apostolic brief of October 3, 1730, the pope sent him the red biretta, with Ablegato apostolic Enea Silvio Piccolomini; received the red hat on July 19, 1731; and the title of S. Balbina, September 3, 1731. Legate in Bologna for a triennium, December 11, 1730; he was very successful fighting against the assasini, e i banditi who infected the public life of his legation. Legate a latere in the duchies of Parma and Piacenza, retaining his other legation, October 5, 1731. He distinguished himself for his prudence, piety and affability.

Death. While traveling from Naples to Genoa in an English vessel, fell gravely ill from a cold, and died in Ischia on November 18, 1733. His body was transferred to Genoa; and buried in the tomb of his ancestors in the church of S. Filippo Neri.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 247; Notizie per l'anno 1736. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1736, p. 202, no. 21; 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. 191; 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, pp. 5 and 42; Squicciarini, Donato. Nunzi apostolici a Vienna. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1998, p. 160-161; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), II, 495; 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. 159 and 714.

Link. His engraving by Gaspare Massi, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek.

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(4) 3. MASSEI, Bartolomeo (1663-1745)

Birth. January 2, 1663, Montepulciano. Of a noble family. Third of the three children of Lorenzo Massei. The other siblings were Nicolea and Tommaso (gonfaloniere of Montepulciano). He is also listed as Bartholomaeus Massaeus. Uncle of Cardinal Paolo Massei (1785).

Education. Studied at the University of Pisa (doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law, May 29, 1683).

Early life. After finishing his studies, he went to Rome. With the help of Pomponio de Vecchis, famous lawyer, he was admitted to the court of Cardinal Gianfrancesco Albani, future Pope Clement XI. He first was named coppiere; and later, master of chamber.

Sacred orders. Received the subdiaconate on September 23, 1702; and the diaconate on December 23, 1702.

Priesthood. Ordained, April 7, 1703. Canon of the patriarchal Vatican basilica, December 21, 1712. Toward 1715, he was named papal coppiere and prior of S. Maria in Via Lata, Rome, which he later exchanged for a canonicate of the patriarchal Liberian basilica, Rome. In 1712, he brought to Milan the red biretta to new Cardinal Agostino Cussani, bishop of Pavia. When in 1714 Princess Violante Beatrice di Baviera, widow of Grand-duke Ferdinando of Tuscany, went to visit the Shrine of Loreto, Msgr. Massei was ordered by the pope to go to the border of the Papal State to welcome and assist the princess. He brought the red biretta to new Cardinal Henri-Pons de Thiard de Bissy, bishop of Meaux, to Paris in 1715; at the same time, he was charged by the pope to deal with serious affairs in the French court, principally, concerning the apostolic bull Unigenitus Dei Filius; he remained in Paris until the death of King Louis XIV on September 1, 1715. Pro-master of the papal chamber, 1717. Referendary of the Supreme Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace, July 22, 1717. In December 1719, he went to Paris to bring the red biretta to the new Cardinal Cornelio Bentivoglio, nuncio in France; he remained in Paris caring for the affairs of Rome; while in that city in 1721, he received the news of his promotion to the episcopate and appointment as nuncio extraordinary in France as well as master of chamber of the pope.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Atena, February 3, 1721. Consecrated, March 23, 1723, cathedral of Meaux, by Cardinal Henri-Pons Thiard de Bissy, bishop of Meaux. Nuncio extraordinary in France, February 4, 1721. Named nuncio ordinary in France by the new Pope Innocent XIII on August 27, 1722. Representative of the Holy See to the Congress of Peace of Cambrai, September 15, 1722; on February 16, 1723, he was ordered to protest against the eventual investiture to the duchies of Parma and Piacenza; reappointed, July 31, 1724. He strenuously worked for the peace and union of the Gallican clergy obtaining the acceptance of Cardinal Louis-Antoine de Noailles, archbishop of Paris, of the papal bull Unigenitus Dei Filius. While occupying the French nunciature, he constantly declined the numerous benefices that the king and his ministers offered him. Representative of the Holy See to the Congress of Peace of Soissons, July 3, 1728. Soon after his election to the pontificate, Pope Clement XII called him back to Rome; while he was on his way in Marseille, he received the news of his promotion to the cardinalate.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of October 2, 1730; with an apostolic brief of October 3, 1730, the pope sent him the red biretta; received the red hat on December 18, 1730; and the title of S. Agostino, January 8, 1731. Legate in Romagna, December 11, 1730; named superintendent of Waters in Romagna, January 12, 1731. he left Ravenna on February 28, 1735. Transferred to the see of Ancona, with personal title of archbishop, May 21, 1731. He restored the episcopal palace both in the city and in the country; drained the waters that infected the countryside making it fertile and productive; provided his cathedral with new ornaments; and paved the main square with new stones and opened a new street that made the access to the square faster and easier. He visited the entire diocese. He issued excellent ordinances for the reformation of costumes and introduced the Piarists in the city. During the passage through Ancona of the Spanish troops and the English fleet he acted with such prudence that no one suffered any harm. Participated in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV.

Death. November 20, 1745, Ancona. Exposed and buried in the cathedral of Ancona, with a very simple inscription that he himself had composed. The people of Ancona erected a monument to his memory in palazzo della Ragione, consisting of his bust in white marble with an elegant inscription.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 247-250; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, XLIII, 234-236; Notizie per l'anno bissestile 1752. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1752, p. 127, no. 25; 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. 103-104; 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, pp. 5, 42 and 82; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), II, 597; 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. 371 and 767.

Links. Biographical entry, in French, Wikipedia; his portrait, Museo Biblioteca "F. Renzi", Borghi, Istituto per i beni artistici culturali e naturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna (mistankenly he is called Cardinal Mattei; his engraving by Gasparo Massi, Istituto per i beni artistici culturali e naturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna; his portrait, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali; his portrait, ARTPAST, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali.

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(5) 4. RUSPOLI, Bartolomeo (1697-1741)

Birth. August 25, 1697 (1), Rome. Son of Francesco Maria Marescotti Ruspoli, first prince of Cerveteri, and Isabella Cesi, of the dukes of Acquasparta. Grand-nephew of Pope Innocent XIII; and of Cardinal Bernardo Maria Conti, O.S.B.Cas. (1721), on his mother's side.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Entered the Roman prelature as protonotary apostolic, 1718. Knight of the Order of Malta. Named by the Sacred College of Cardinals governor of the conclave of 1721. He performed his duties so well that the new Pope Innocent XIII named him secretary of Memorials, 1721. Secretary of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide, 1724; left Rome unhappy with the state of affairs in the city, 1728, leaving his post vacant in practice.

Sacred orders. Received the minor orders, June 26, 1725. Protonotary apostolic.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of October 2, 1730; received the red hat on October 5, 1730; and the deaconry of Ss. Cosma e Damiano, November 22, 1730. Granted dispensation to receive the diaconate and the priestly ordination on the same day without having to wait the established time, December 14, 1730. Protector of the Friars Minor Capuchins in 1738; and of the Monks of Montelibano. Grand prior of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in Rome, 1731. Participated in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV.

Death. May 21, 1741, at 9:00 p.m., Palazzo Ruspoli, Vignanello, after a long and painful illness. Buried temporarily in the collegiate church of Vignanello. On July 12, 1743, according to his will, his remains were transferred to the Capuchin church of the Immaculate Conception, Rome. His tombstone was engraved with his cardinalitial arms and a simple inscription.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 250; Notizie per l'anno bissestile 1752. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1752, p. 120, no. 3; Palazzo Ruspoli. A cura di Carlo Pietrangeli ; testi di Paolo Liverani ... [et al.]. Roma : Editalia, 1992. Note: At head of title: Fondazione Memmo; 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, pp. 5 and 50; Sarazani, Fabrizio. Ruspoli, famiglia romana. Roma : Palombi, 1977; Weber, Christoph. Senatus divinus : verborgene Strukturen im Kardinalskollegium der frühen Neuzeit (1500-1800). Frankfurt am Main ; New York : Peter Lang, 1996, p. 500, no. 644.

Links. His arms, coins, engraving and biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; his portrait, as grand-prior of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in Rome, Araldica Vaticana; his portrait, Museo del Palazzo Ducale di Urbania, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali; his portrait, ARTPAST, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali; and his engraving, CalcoGRAFICA, Istituto Nazionale della Grafica.

(1) This is according to Notizie per l'anno bissestile 1752, p. 120, no. 3; and Notizie per l'anno 1736. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1736, p. 193. Notizie per l'anno 1732. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1732, p. 192, says that he was born on August 27, 1697. Gazzetta di Bologna, indicates that he was born on July 27, 1697. Diario Romano of May 27, 1741, says that he died at the age of 44years, 8 months and 26 days, which means that he was born on August 26, 1696. His biography in Italian, linked above, says that he was born on October 25; 1697.

Note. In his Memoirs, Baron Karl Ludwig von Pöllnitz, who was in Rome when Bartolomeo Ruspoli was created cardinal, said that during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XIII (1724-1730), Cardinal Nicola Coscia had offered the father of the future cardinal his promotion in exchange for a certain sum of money. When Bartolomeo found out, he refused and referred the incident to Cardinal Lorenzo Corsini (future Pope Clement XII), a friend of his family. That explained, according to Pöllnitz, why, in his first published cardinalitial creation, Pope Clement XII promoted the young prelate together with three nuncios who most certainly would have received the cardinalate ex officio. Johann Heinrich Zedler, in his Das Universal-Kochbuch des 18. Jahrhunderts, recounts the same story. It is not totally clear if it was Cardinal Coscia who offered the appointment or if it was Bartolomeo's father who tried to buy it.

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