The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Pius VII (1800-1823)
Consistory of August 24, 1807 (IX)


(41) 1. GUIDOBONO CAVALCHINI, Francesco (1755-1828)

Birth. December 4, 1755, Tortona. Son of Pietro Alberto Guidobono Cavalchini, baron of the Holy Roman Empire, and Antonia Maria dalla Valle Agnelli Maffei, patrician of Casale Monferrato. Grand-nephew of Cardinal Carlo Alberto Guidobono Cavalchini (1743). His last name is also listed as Cavalchini Guidobono.

Education. Initially, he studied in Tortona; then, at Collegio Clementino, Rome, 1769, under the protection of his grand-uncle; and later, at the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles, Rome, 1775 (diplomacy).

Early life. Privy chamberlain supernumerary of His Holiness, 1779. Entered the Roman prelature as domestic prelate of His Holiness in 1780; named referendary on July 6, 1780. Relator of the Sacred Consulta, 1784; and premier assessor of the criminal tribunal of the governor of Rome, February 14, 1785. Cleric of the Apostolic Chamber, February 21, 1794. Prelate of the S.C. of Ecclesiastical Immunity before March 15, 1794. After the restoration of the papal government in Rome, he was named member of the congregation for the reestablishment of the former system of government, July 9, 1800. Governor of Rome and vice-camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, October 30, 1800 until April 6, 1817. Named, before December 17, 1800, member of the commission for the revision of the businesses of the Giunta di state put in place by the Neapolitan authorities. First assessor of the tribunal of the Sacred Consulta, 1801. After the entrance of the French army in Rome, he was arrested on April 21, 1808, imprisoned in Castello Sant'Angelo; then, for three months, interned in the fortress of Fenestrelle; later, exiled to the south of France (1). After the restoration of the papal authority in Rome, he was reestablished in his post of governor of Rome (but not in its functions, which were entrusted to a pro-governor) on September 23, 1814 (2).

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal and reserved in pectore in the consistory of August 24, 1807; published in the consistory of April 6, 1818; received the red hat, April 9, 1818; and the deaconry of S. Maria in Aquiro, May 25, 1818. Named abbot of Farfa and S. Salvatore Maggiore before June 17, 1818. Granted a one year prorogation to receive sacred orders, June 18, 1819. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, April 19, 1822 until 1823. Participated in the conclave of 1823, which elected Pope Leo XII. Prefect of the S.C. of Good Government, January 30, 1824.

Death. December 5, 1828, Rome. Exposed and buried in his deaconry, where the funeral also took place.

Bibliography. 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. 344-345; Del Re, Niccolò. Monsignor governatore di Roma. Rome : Istituto di Studi Romani Editore, 1972, p. 122-123; 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, Grégoire XVI, Pie IX et Léon XIII, 1800-1903. Montréal : Wilson & Lafleur, 2007. (Collection Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), p. 237-238; 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. 14 and 45.

Link. His engraving by Gioacchino Lepri, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

(1) During his absence from Rome and until the deportation of Pope Pius VII, he was substituted by pro-governors Tommaso Arezzo and Francesco Serlupi.
(2) His functions were exercised in his place by vice-governors Giacomo Giustiniani, Stanislao Sanseverino and Tiberio Pacca, who succeeded him in the post in 1817.

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