He was Bishop of Ferrara (1550) and Apostolic Administrator of Ferrara (1561 – 8 October 1563), deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria (1577–1583) He participated in the Papal conclave, 1565–1566 but not in the conclave of 1572, as he was absent in France. He played a key role, however, in the Papal conclave, 1585.
^His liaison with the noble and musical Lucrezia Bendidio, whose favours were shared with Torquato Tasso, was well known. (Franca Trinchieri Camiz and Katherine A. McIver, Art and Music in the Early Modern Period 2003:148).
^R. A. Scorza, "Vincenzo Borghini and the Impresa" Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes52 (1989:85–110) p. 97.
^The young architect Flaminio Ponzio made his first documented appearance there in 1585, providing some minor new outbuildings in the outer park (David R, Coffin, The villa d'Este at Tivoli).
^ abSee G. Fragnito, "'Parenti' et 'familiari' nelli corti cardinalizie del rinascimento", in C. Mozzarelli, ed. Familgia' del principe e famiglia aristocratica (Rome) 1988; a list of 1579 notes 34 prelates and noblemen, with their 73 servants, 66 lesser individuals sharing 44 further servants, plus pages, footmen, kitchen and stable staff, falconers and bakers that served the household in general (Marco Bizzarini, "Marenzio and Cardinal Luigi d'Este" Early Music27.4, (November 1999:519–532) p. 520.
^His benefices, when they were taxed in 1571, amounted to 19,665 scudi a year, more than Alessandro Farnese's (16,750 scudi) or Giulio Della Rovere's (16,267 scudi), according to figures noted in Gianvittorio Signorotto and Maria Antonietta Visceglia, Court and Politics in Papal Rome, 1492–1700 2002:61).
^Jane A. Bernstein, Music Printing in Renaissance Venice: The Scotto Press (1539–1572) (1998:203).
^Paolo Portone, in Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. 43 (Rome 1993) s.v. "Este, Luigi d'".
^Deuotissime orationi ch’ogni notte, Oltre il diuino Offitio, soleua dire la fe. me. Dell'illustriss. et reuerrndiss Sig. Cardinal d'Este, 1588, facsimile edition with biography, Second edition increased, 2013