The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Pius VII (1800-1823)
Consistory of August 11, 1800 (I)
Celebrated in the Quirinale Palace, Rome


(1) 1. CARACCIOLO, Diego Innico (1759-1820)

Birth. July 18 (1), 1759, Martina Franca, Apulia, kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Of one of the premier families of the Neapolitan aristocracy. Son of Francesco IX Caracciolo, duke of Martina, Neapolitan patrician, and Stefania di Diego Pignatelli, duchess of Monteleone. His first name is also listed as Innigo; as Didaco Innico; as Diego Innigo; and as Diego Maria; and his last name as Caracciolo di Martina. He was destined to the ecclesiastical state at a young age. Other cardinals of the family were Marino Ascanio Caracciolo (1535); Innico Caracciolo, seniore (1666); Innico Caracciolo, iuniore (1715); Niccolò Caracciolo (1715); Giovanni Costanzo Caracciolo (1759); and Filippo Giudice Caracciolo, Orat. (1833).

Education. Collegio Clementino, Rome, from 1767; La Sapienza University, Rome (doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law); completed his juridical practice working for two years with advocate Francesco Maria Cioja.

Early life. Entered the Roman prelature as domestic prelate in 1780. Referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace, March 22, 1782. Auditor of the S.C. of Indulgences and Relics, 1782. Prelate vicar of the basilica of S. Maria in Cosmedin, Rome, March 8, 1786 until 1792. Governor of San Severino, August 8, 1786 until August 13, 1780. Governor of Iesi, August 13, 1790 until March 7, 1794. Protonotary apostolic, 1793. Governor of Fermo, March 7, 1794 to October 10, 1795. Called to Rome and named master of the Papal Chamber before October 10, 1795; confirmed in his post by the new Pope Pius VII on March 14, 1800. Accompanied Pope Pius VI in his exile and was present at his death in Valence, France, August 29, 1799; he communicated the news to the Sacred College of Cardinals and then went to Venice, where the conclave was celebrated. Went to Rome with the new pope after the restoration of the papal government in the city in 1800. He was promoted to the cardinalate in recognition of his loyalty to the late Pope Pius VI.

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of August 11, 1800; received the red hat on August 14, 1800; and the title of S. Agostino on October 20, 1800. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, February 23, 1801 until March 29, 1802. Named prefect of the S.C. of Indulgences and Relics before December 23, 1801. Named protector of the Order of Fathers of Penance before December 27, 1806. Expelled from Rome as a foreigner in 1808, he sought refuge in Fondi, and later in Naples; he excused himself to go to Paris in 1811 because of his bad health.

Episcopate. After the second restoration of the papal government in Rome, he opted for the suburbicarian see of Palestrina, retaining his title in commendam, September 26, 1814. Consecrated, November 6, 1814, pope's private chapel, by Pope Pius VII, assisted by Francesco Bertazzoli, titular archbishop of Edessa, and by Giuseppe Bartolomeo Menocchio, titular bishop of Porfireone, papal sacristan. Sent by the pope on June 21, 1815 to bring his compliments to King Ferdinando VII of Naples on his restoration to the throne, and for the restitution of the ecclesiastical properties by royal decree of June 17, 1815. Apostolic delegate to the election of the vicar general of the kingdom of Naples, November 7, 1815. Named to preside the negotiations between the Holy See and the kingdom of the Two Sicilies for the conclusion of a new concordat; he conducted his mission successfully until the signature of the concordat on February 16, 1818 in Terracina. Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Signature of Justice, December 14, 1818. He resided in Naples in order to monitor the application of the concordat.

Death. January 24, 1820, Naples. Exposed in the metropolitan cathedral of Naples, where his funeral took place on January 27, 1820, and buried in that same cathedral.

Bibliography. Beltrami, Giuseppe. Notizie su prefetti e referendari della Segnatura Apostolica desunte dai brevi di nomina. Città del Vaticano, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1972, p. 20; Boutry, Philippe. Souverain et Pontife : recherches prosopographiques sur la curie romaine à l'âge de la restauration, 1814-1846. Rome : École française de Rome, 2002, pp. 336-337; "Cardinali defunti nel Pontificato di Nostro Signore." Notizie per l'anno 1823. Rome : G.F. Chracas, 1822, p. 56; 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. 6, 38 and 40; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen VII (1800-1846). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 38 and 50; LeBlanc, Jean. Dictionnaire biographique des cardinaux du XIXe siècle : contribution à l'histoire du Sacré Collège sous les pontificats de Pie VII, Léon XII, Pie VIII, GrégoireXVI, Pie IX et Léon XIII, 1800-1903. Montréal : Wilson & Lafleur, 2007. (Collection Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), p. 216-217; 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. 248, 278, 382 and 549.

Links. Biography by Giuseppe Pignatelli, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 19 (1976), Treccani; portraits, engraving and arms, Araldica Vaticana; his engraving by Carlo Antonini, Cultura Italia, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali.

(1) This is according to Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, VII, 6; and "Cardinali defunti nel Pontificato di Nostro Signore." Notizie per l'anno 1823, p. 56; Boutry, Souverain et Pontife, p. 336, says that he was born on July 17, 1759.

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(2) 2. CONSALVI, Ercole (1757-1824)

Birth. June 8, 1757, Rome. Of the noble family of the Brunacci in Pisa. Eldest of the five children of Mario Giuseppe Consalvi, marquis of Toscanella, and Countess Claudia Carandini of Modena. In order to inherit the large fortune of Marquis Ercole Consalvi of Rome, the cardinal's grandfather, Gregorio Brunacci, took the name and arms of the former as he had required. Ercole was entrusted at the death of his father in 1763 to the care of Cardinal Andrea Negroni. Nephew of Cardinal Filippo Carandini (1787), on his mother's side. Related to Cardinal Antonio Frosini (1823).

Education. College of the Scolopii (Piarist Fathers), Urbino, 1766-1771; Seminary of Frascati, Frascati, 1771-1776 (rhetoric, philosophy and theology; simple cleric, September 21, 1776); Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles, Rome, 1776-1782 (jurisprudence and ecclesiastical history); La Sapienza University, Rome (doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law, January 6, 1789). Privy chamberlain supernumerary of Pope Pius VI, April, 1783.

Early life. Entered the Roman prelature as domestic prelate in July 1784, and referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace on July 15, 1784. Relator of the S.C. of the Good Government, 1786. Secretary of the congregation for the administration of the Hospice of S. Michele a Ripa, 1787. Voter of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature of Justice, April 1789. Named auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota, March 26, 1792; admitted in the tribunal, March 28, 1792. Assessor of a military commission to prevent revolutionary disturbances and the intervention of the French Directory in the Papal States, 1796. With the excuse of the assassination of General Duphot on December 28, 1797, in Rome, the French occupied the city on February 10, 1798, and deprived Pope Pius VI of his temporal sovereignty, and proclaimed a Roman Republic. Consalvi was arrested, imprisoned in the Castle S. Angelo, and sent to Civitavecchia en route to Cayenne, French Guiana, but he was returned to S. Angelo, and sent to Terracina. From there, he was allowed to go to Naples. He was permitted by the Neapolitan Government to go to Florence to stay with the pope, who had been sent by the French to the Carthusian monastery in that city. He was allowed to visit the pope twice but was impeded to stay with him by the French envoy in Florence. He went to live in Venice in September 1798. He was appointed pro-secretary of the conclave on December 1, 1799. On March 14, 1800 the new Pope Pius VII was elected and appointed him pro-secretary of State the following day, March 15, 1800. Returned to Rome with the pope on July 3, 1800.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of August 11, 1800; received the red hat on August 14, 1800; and the deaconry of S. Agata alla Suburra on October 20, 1800. Named secretary of State on August 11, 1800. He personally participated in the negotiations of a concordat with the French Republic; he left Rome on June 6, 1800, arrived in Paris on the 20th, and signed the definitive text of the accord on July 15, 1801 after laborious sessions; he left Paris on July 24 and arrived in Rome on the 31st of that month; the concordat was ratified by the Holy See on August 15, 1801, in spite of the objections of a large part of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Pro-librarian of the Holy Roman Church, December 19, 1801 until June 17, 1806, when he was suspended.

Sacred orders. Received the subdiaconate and diaconate on December 20 and 21, 1801 respectively, in Rome, from Pope Pius VII. He was never ordained a priest. Named pro-prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature of Grace on December 26, 1801; its prefect, September 6, 1805 until May 10, 1817. Prefect of the Sacred Consulta. Instrumental in negotiations that preceded the concordat with the Cisalpine Republic, September 16, 1803. Named pontifical vicar with full powers during the absence of Pope Pius VII from Rome on the occasion of the coronation of Emperor Napoléon I Bonaparte in Paris from November 2, 1804 to May 16, 1805. Prefect of the S.C. Lauretana. Supporter of a firm policy towards the French emperor and opposed to the adhesion of the Papal States to the Continental Blockade, he had to resign the secretariat of State on June 17, 1806. After the Papal States were annexed to the French Empire, June 20, 1809 and the pope deported to Savona, Cardinal Consalvi received the order to leave Rome on November 29, 1809; he refused to obey and was arrested on December 11 and taken to Paris, where he arrived on January 20, 1810; received by the emperor, he maintained a position of intransigence and turned down a pension of 30,000 francs a year from the French government. For his refusal to attend the marriage ceremonies of Emperor Napoléon I Bonaparte and Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria on April 2, 1810, he and twelve other cardinals were deprived of their property and of their cardinalitial dignity and compelled to wear black garments, whence their name of "black cardinals". They were also banished to various French cities and Cardinal Consalvi was sent to Reims together with Cardinal Cesare Brancadoro from June 13, 1810 until the signature of the Concordat of Fontainebleau by Pope Pius VII on January 25, 1813. Freed on January 26, 1813, he joined the pope on February 18, 1813 and recommended that the pontiff retract the concessions made to Napoléon; the retraction of the concordat took place on March 24; as a consequence, Consalvi was restricted in his free access to the pope; he received from the pope the charge of negotiating the restitution of the Papal States. The cardinal was exiled again on January 27, 1814, this time to Bêziers; an order of the French provisional government freed him on April 2, 1814; he left Bêziers on April 20 and rejoined the pope at Rimini on May 8. Emperor Napoleon I had abdicated in Fontainebleau on April 11, 1814.

Cardinal Consalvi was reappointed secretary of State on May 17, 1814 in Foligno; occupied the post until the death of Pope Pius VII on August 20, 1823. Librarian fo the Holy Roman Church from May 17, 1814 until September 20, 1823. The pope named Cardinal Bartolomeo Pacca pro-secretary of State on May 19, 1814, during the absence of Cardinal Consalvi. He left Foligno on May 20, 1814 and arrived in Paris on June 2, too late to take part in the negotiations concerning France; they had been concluded by the first Treaty of Paris, signed on May 30; it confirmed the French possession of Avignon and Comtat Venaissin; he was received by King Louis XVIII, left Paris on June 6 and went to London, where he arrived on June 10, 1814; he was honorably received by the Regent and by Robert Stewart, Lord Castlereagh, foreign secretary; the cardinal requested the restitution of the totality of the Papal States by diplomatic note dated June 23; he returned to Paris on July 9 and remained there until August 20 with the purpose of defending the work of the concordat; he then went to Vienna, where he established himself for nine months starting on September 2, 1814. Participated in the Congress of Vienna from September 1814 to June 9, 1815, when the treaty was signed; the cardinal successfully negotiated the restitution of the legations at the south of the River Po, the Marches, and the enclaves of Pontecorvo and Benevento; a convention signed on June 12, 1815 with Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich determined the conditions for the evacuation of those territories; on June 14, 1815, the cardinal made a solemn protestation against the validity of the treaties of Tolentino of 1797, and Paris of 1814. Cardinal Consalvi returned to Rome on July 2, 1815 and three days later on the 5th of July, retook from Cardinal Pacca his functions as secretary of State; occupied the post until the death of Pope Pius VII. He negotiated concordats or agreements with Bavaria in 1817; with Sardinia also in 1817; with the Two Sicilies in 1818; with Prussia and the princes of the Upper Rhine in 1821; and with Hannover in 1823. Apostolic visitor to the Hospice of S. Michele a Ripa. Secretary of Apostolic Briefs, May 10, 1817. Opted for the deaconry of S. Maria ad Martyres (Pantheon), July 28, 1817. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, February 20, 1820 until January 8, 1821. Pro-prefect of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide and of the Correction of Books of the Oriental Church, March 23, 1822 until the death of Pope Pius VII. Participated in the conclave of 1823, which elected Pope Leo XII. After three months of complete disgrace, the new pope reconciled with the cardinal and named him prefect of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide on January 13, 1824; he died eleven days later. He is considered one of the greatest statesmen ever to serve the papacy.

Death. January 24, 1824, at 1 p.m., of high fever, in Rome. For one week, he was laid in state at the Galleria Caracci of Palazzo Farnese, with sixty six candles burning around his body, one for each of his years. Buried in the church of S. Marcello, Rome (1). His heart was buried in the church S. Maria ad Martyres (Pantheon), Rome (1).

Bibliography. Beltrami, Giuseppe. Notizie su prefetti e referendari della Segnatura Apostolica desunte dai brevi di nomina. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1972, p. 19; Boutry, Philippe. Souverain et Pontife : recherches prosopographiques sur la curie romaine à l'âge de la restauration, 1814-1846. Rome : École française de Rome, 2002, pp. 347-351; Consalvi, Ercole. Mémoires du cardinal Consalvi. Paris : Maison de la bonne presse, 1895. Nouv. éd. illustrée, augm. d'un fascicule inédit sur le Concile de 1811. Publiée par Jean-Emmanuel B. Drochon. Avec une introduction et des notes par Jacques Crétineau-Joly. Contents: Mémoires sur le conclave tenu à Venise pour l'élection du souverain pontife Pie VII (1912).--Mémoires sur le Concordat signé à Paris, 1801 (1812).--Mémoires sur le mariage de l'empereur Napoléon et de l'archiduchesse d'Autriche (1811).--Mémoires sur diverses époques de ma vie (1810).--Mémoires sur mon ministère (1812).--Mémoires sur le concile de 1811; Ellis, John Tracy. Cardinal Consalvi and Anglo-papal relations, 1814-1824. Washington, D.C. : The Catholic University of America Press, 1942; LeBlanc, Jean. Dictionnaire biographique des cardinaux du XIXe siècle : contribution à l'histoire du Sacré Collège sous les pontificats de Pie VII, Léon XII, Pie VIII, GrégoireXVI, Pie IX et Léon XIII, 1800-1903. Montréal : Wilson & Lafleur, 2007. (Collection Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), p. 254-260; Petrocchi, Massimo. "Consalvi, Ercole." La Enciclopedia Cattolica. 12 vols. Città del Vaticano : Ente per l'Enciclopedia Cattolica e per il Libro Cattolico, 1949-1954, III, col. 394-397; Regoli, Roberto . Ercole Consalvi. Le scelte per la Chiesa. Rome : Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2006; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VII (1800-1846). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 6, 45, 46 and 50; Robinson, John Martin. Cardinal Consalvi, 1757-1824. New York : St. Martin's Press, 1987; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), I, 194.

Links. Biography, in Englsh; biography, in English (Britannica); biography, in English, p. 241-243; images (Galleria Fotografica) and extensive biographical information in Biografia e Vita di Ercole Consalvi Brunacci, in Italian; his portrait and biography, in Italian; his tomb in S. Marcello al Corso, Rome; his portrait, pencil and wash, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres; and his bust (below) in S. Maria ad Martyres (Pantheon), Rome; his portrait by Charles Edward Wagstaff and Thomas Lawrence Thomas, Châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau, France; his engraving by Carlo Antonini, Museo di Roma, Rome; his portrait with Pope Pius VII, signing the concordat of 1801, by Jean-Baptiste Joseph Wicar, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles, France; his portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, painted for King George IV of England, The Royal Collection, England; portrait and biographical data, in Czech; three engravings, Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; five engravings, Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv Austria; his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; and discourse of Cardinal Taricsio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State, in the congress promoted by the "III Comitato Consalviano" in the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Cardinal Ercole Consalvi, in Italian.

(1) This is the inscription on his funeral monument in the chapel of SS. Crocefisso, in the church of S. Marcello al Corso, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:

HEIC · IACENT
HERCVLES · CONSALVIVS · ROMANVS
DIACONVS · CARDINALIS · S · MARIAE · AD · MARTYRES
ET · ANDREAS · CONSALVIVS · ROMANVS · MARCHIO
EIVS · FRATER
QVI · QVVM · SINGVLARI · AMORE · DVM · VIVEBANT
SE · MUTVO · DILEXISSENT
CORPORA · ETIAM · SVA · VNA · EADEMQVE · VRNA · CONDI · VOLVER
VIXERVNT
PRIMVS · ANNOS · LXVIII · ALTER ANNOS · XLVI
DECESSERVNT
PRIMVS · XI · KAL · FEBRVARIAS · ANNI · MDCCCXXIV
ALTER · VIII · ID · SEPTEMBRIS · ANNI · MDCCCVII
ORATE · PRO · EIS.

LOCVS · DATVS · EX · GRATVITA · CONCESSIONE
ARCHFRATRIAE · SANCTISSIMI · CVRCIFIXI
HVIVS · SACELLI · DOMINAE

This is the inscription on the slab which covers the vault with his heart, also provided by Mr. Bonnicit:
D.     O.     M.
HERCULI CONSALVI S.R.E. CARD. S. MARIAE AD MARTIRES
CUIUS COR CONDITUM EST HOCCE PIETATIS MONUMENTUM
AMICI TANTI VIRI POSERUNT
MDCCCXXIIII

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