The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758)
Consistory of December 18, 1754 (VI)


(55) 1. FERNÁNDEZ DE CÓRDOBA, Luis Antonio (1696-1771)

Birth. January 22, 1696, Montilla, diocese of Córdoba, Spain. Second of the seven children of Antonio Fernández de Córdoba y Figueroa and Catalina Portocarrero de Guzmán y de la Cerda, eleventh countess of Teba. He was baptized in the church of Santiago in Montilla on January 28, 1696 with the names Luis Antonio José Judas Tadeo Juan de la Cruz Vicente Anastasio Francisco Xavier. The other siblings were Domingo, twelfth count of Teba; María Dominga; Ana María; Francisca Xaviera, a nun; Ignacia de la Natividad, a nun; and Marma Margarita de la Cruz, also a nun. Related to Cardinal Luis Manuel Fernández de Portocarrero (1669), on his mother's side. His last name also listed as Córdoba only; as Fernández de Córdoba Portocarrero; and as Fernández de Córdoba Portocarrero Guzmán y Aguilar.

Education. Studied at Colegio Mayor de Cuenca, University of Salamanca; and later, at the University of Alcalá, where he earned a doctorate in law.

Priesthood. Ordained (no information found). Named canon of the metropolitan cathedral chapter of Toledo on November 20, 1717; he had the dignity of capiscoal; its dean, March 7, 1733. He was the thirteenth count of Teba; the twelfth marquis of Ardales; and señor of Campillo, sentencia de tenuta June 23, 1738. Presented to the cardinalate by King Fernando VI of Spain in spite of his sincere resistance; the king assigned him a pension of 36,000 ducats and nine julios.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 18, 1754; the pope sent him the red biretta to Madrid with Monsignor de Tencin, with an apostolic brief of April 11, 1755; he never went to Rome to receive the red hat and the title. With tears in his eyes he begged the king of Spain not to nominate him for the primatial and metropolitan see of Toledo but to appoint a more worthy person. The pope promoted him to replace Cardinal Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbón y Farnesio, administrator of the sees of Toledo and Sevilla, whose resignation from the cardinalate was accepted by Pope Benedict XIV in the consistory of December 18, 1754.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Toledo, August 4, 1755; on that same day he was granted the pallium. Consecrated, September 28, 1755, San Jerónimo el Real, Madrid, by Manuel Quintano Bonifaz, titular archbishop of Farsalo, co administrator of Toledo, inquisitor general of Spain, assisted by Andrés Núñez Monteagudo, titular bishop of Mascula, auxiliary of Toledo, and by Agustín González Pisador, titular bishop of Tricomi, auxiliary of Toledo. Until his enthronement, his vicar general was Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana, future cardinal. As archbishop of Toledo, he was chancellor major of Castilla, an almost honorary post. Member of the Council of His Majesty in 1755. Did not participate in the conclave of 1758, which elected Pope Clement XIII. Did not participate in the conclave of 1769, which elected Pope Clement XIV. He opposed the expulsion of the Jesuits and for this he was temporarily banned from Madrid.

Death. March 26, 1771, of an apoplexy caused by epilepsy, which he had suffered for a long time; in Toledo. Buried in the church of the convent of the Capuchin nuns, Toledo, which he had restored (1).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1797, IX, 59; Espada, L. "Fernández de Córdoba, Luis Antonio." Diccionario de historia eclesiástica de España. 4 vols and Supplement. Dirigido por Quintín Aldea Vaquero, Tomás Marín Martínez, José Vives Gatell. Madrid : Instituto Enrique Flórez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1972-1975; Suplemento (1987), II, 918; Guitarte Izquierdo, Vidal. Episcopologio Español (1700-1867). Españoles obispos en España, América, Filipinas y otros países. Rome : Instituto Español de Historia Eclesiástica, 1994. (Publicaciones del Instituto Español de Historia Eclesiástica; Subsidia; 29), p. 81; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 17, 25 and 410; Seidler, Sabrina M.; Weber, Christoph. Päpste und Kardinäle in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1730-1777) : das biographische Werk des Patriziers von Lucca Bartolomeo Antonio Talenti. Frankfurt am Main ; New York : Peter Lang, 2007. (Beiträge zur Kirchen- und Kulturgeschichte, Bd. 18), p. 543-545; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), V, 292.

Links. Biography, in Spanish, Wikipedia; his genealogy, Fundación Medinacelli; another genealogy, VI, 5, 2/ii, Grandes de España; his engraving and portrait, Araldica Vaticana; his engraving by Antonio Pazzi, CalcoGRAFICA - Istituto Nazionale della Grafica, Italy; Archbishops of Toledo, archdiocese of Toledo.

(1) This is according to Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentoris Aevi, VI, 17; Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali dela Santa Romana Chiesa, IX, 59; and Seidler, Päpste und Kardinäle in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1730-1777), p. 545, say that he was buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Toledo, in the tomb of the archbishops.

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