Papal conclave, 1471

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Papal conclave
August 1471
Sede vacante.svg
Coat of arms during the vacancy of the Holy See
Dates and location
6-9 August 1471
Apostolic Palace, Papal States
Key officials
Dean Basilios Bessarion
Protopriest Jean Rolin
Protodeacon Rodrigo Borja
Elected Pope
Francesco della Rovere
(Name taken: Sixtus IV)
Pope Sixtus IV (head).jpg

The papal conclave from August 6-9, 1471 elected Pope Sixtus IV following the death of Pope Paul II. With the exception of the conclaves of the Western Schism, this conclave was the first since 1305 to feature a working, two-thirds majority of Italians within the College of Cardinals, in no small part because of the absence of six non-Italian cardinals.[1] This was in part due to the unexpectedness of the death of Paul II.[2]

The election[edit]

The two main factions were those of d'Estouteville and Orsini, the latter of whom secured a major pre-conclave victory in managing to persuade the rest of the College to exclude the cardinals created by Paul II in pectore, in explicit defiance of the last will and testament of the previous pontiff.[1] Such creatures would be allowed to participate, for example, in the papal conclave, 1492. Paul II had created at least eight cardinals in secret, at least five of whom were alive at the time of the conclave: Pedro Ferriz, Pietro Foscari, Giovanni Battista Savelli, Ferry de Clugny, and Jan Vitez.[1]

A conclave capitulation was drawn up at the beginning of the conclave, but unusually it contained no explicit limitations on papal power, except to continue the Crusading war against the Turks.[1] The aforementioned factions can more specifically be referred to as the "Pieschi" (primarily the creations of Pius II) and the "Paoleschi" (primarily the creations of Paul II).[1]

As in the immediately previous conclaves, Bessarion emerged as an early favorite, with six votes on the second day, those of: d'Estouteville, Calandrini, Capranica, Ammanati-Piccolomini, Caraffa, and Barbo; d'Estouteville trailed with the votes of Bessarion, Gonzaga, and Monferrato as did Forteguerri with the votes of Orsini, Eruli, and Agnifilo; Orsini got nods from della Rovere and Michiel; Roverella from Borgia and Zeno; Eruli from Forteguerri; and Calandrini from Roverella.[1] The old arguments against Bessarion, namely that he was a non-Italian, who in addition would be unacceptable to the princes of France, again prevailed.[3]

The voting tallies are known with specificity because of the notes of Nicodemo de Pontremoli, sent to Duke of Milan Galeazzo Maria Sforza, currently residing in the State Archives of Milan.[1] Notable favorites in the ensuing scrutinies are (chronologically): Calandrini, Forteguerri, and Roverella.[1]

Of the favored candidates of Sforza, della Rovere was the most electable, so Gonzaga and Borja lobbied for him behind the scenes, all the while disguising their intentions by voting for others until the morning of August 9th, when along with d'Estouteville and Barbo they changed their votes to della Rovere in the accessus, giving him a total of 13 votes.[1] The cardinals voting for della Rovere in the scrutiny were: Monferrato, Zeno, Michiel, Agnifilo, Roverella,Forteguerri, Bessarion, Calandrini, and Orsini.[1] Contrary to the perennial tradition, the five remaining cardinals did not change their votes to della Rovere in the accessus to make the election "unanimous".[1]

Cardinal electors[edit]

Elector Nationality Order Title Elevated Elevator Notes
Basilios Bessarion Greek Cardinal-bishop Bishop of Sabina 18 December 1439 Eugenius IV Dean of the College of Cardinals; Latin Patriarch of Constantinople; archbishop of Nicea and Tebe
Guillaume d'Estouteville, O.S.B.Clun. French Cardinal-bishop Bishop of Ostia e Velletri 18 December 1439 Eugenius IV Archbishop of Rouen and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne; archpriest of the Liberian Basilica
Latino Orsini Roman Cardinal-bishop Bishop of Frascati 20 December 1448 Nicholas V Administrator of the sees of Bari and Polignano; archpriest of Lateran Basilica
Filippo Calandrini Ligurian Cardinal-bishop Bishop of Albano 20 December 1448 Nicholas V Cardinal-nephew; bishop of Bologna; grand penitentiary; camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals
Angelo Capranica Roman Cardinal-priest Title of S. Croce in Gerusalemme 5 March 1460 Pius II
Berardo Eroli Umbrian Cardinal-priest Title of S. Sabina 5 March 1460 Pius II Bishop of Spoleto
Niccolò Fortiguerra Tuscan Cardinal-priest Title of S. Cecilia 5 March 1460 Pius II Bishop of Teano
Bartolomeo Roverella Adria, Republic of Venice Cardinal-priest Title of S. Clemente 18 December 1461 Pius II Archbishop of Ravenna
Jacopo Piccolomini-Ammannati Tuscan Cardinal-priest Title of S. Crisogono 18 December 1461 Pius II Bishop of Pavia; arrived on August 7
Oliviero Carafa Neapolitan Cardinal-priest Title of S. Eusebio 18 September 1467 Paul II Archbishop of Naples
Amico Agnifilo Abruzzese Cardinal-priest Title of S. Maria in Trastevere 18 September 1467 Paul II Bishop of Aquila
Marco Barbo Venetian Cardinal-priest Title of S. Marco 18 September 1467 Paul II Cardinal-nephew, patriarch of Aquileia
Francesco della Rovere, O.F.M.Conv. Ligurian Cardinal-priest Title of S. Pietro in Vincoli 18 September 1467 Paul II Elected Pope Sixtus IV
Rodrigo Borja Catalan Cardinal-deacon Deaconry of S. Nicola in Carcere Tulliano 20 February 1456 Callixtus III Future Pope Alexander VI; cardinal-nephew; administrator of Valencia; vicechancellor of the Holy Roman Church; protodeacon
Francesco Gonzaga Mantuan Cardinal-deacon Deaconry of S. Maria Nuova 18 December 1461 Pius II Administrator of the sees of Mantua and Brixen
Teodoro Paleologo di Monteferrato Monteferrato Cardinal-deacon Deaconry of S. Teodoro 18 December 1461 Pius II
Giovanni Battista Zeno Venetian Cardinal-deacon Deaconry of S. Maria in Portico 21 November 1468 Paul II Cardinal-nephew; bishop of Vicenza; archpriest of the Vatican Basilica
Giovanni Michiel Venetian Cardinal-deacon Deaconry of S. Angelo in Pescheria 21 November 1468 Paul II Cardinal-nephew; bishop of Verona

Absentee cardinals[edit]

Elector Nationality Order Title Elevated Elevator Notes
Alain de Coëtivy French Cardinal-bishop Bishop of Palestrina 20 December 1448 Nicholas V Bishop of Avignon and Dol-de-Bretagne
Jean Rolin French Cardinal-priest Title of S. Stefano al Monte Celio 20 December 1448 Nicholas V Bishop of Autun; protopriest
Luis Juan del Milà Catalan Cardinal-priest Title of Ss. IV Coronati 20 February 1456 Callixtus III Cardinal-nephew; bishop of Lérida
Jean Jouffroy, O.S.B.Clun. French Cardinal-priest Title of Ss. Silvestro e Martino 18 December 1461 Pius II Bishop of Albi
Thomas Bourchier English Cardinal-priest Title of S. Ciriaco 18 September 1467 Paul II Archbishop of Canterbury
Jean Balue French Cardinal-priest Title of S. Susanna 18 September 1467 Paul II Bishop of Angers
Francesco Todeschini-Piccolomini Sienese Cardinal-deacon Deacon of S. Eustachio 5 March 1460 Pius II Future Pope Pius III, administrator of the see of Siena, papal legate in Germany

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Burkle-Young, Francis A. 1998. "The election of Pope Sixtus IV (1471)".
  2. ^ Trollope, Thomas Adolphus. 1876. The papal conclaves, as they were and as they are. p. 156.
  3. ^ Creighton, Mandell. 1887. A history of the papacy during the period of the Reformation. p. 56.