Galeotto Franciotti della Rovere
della Rovere was born in Lucca in 1471, the son of Francesco Franciotti and Luchina della Rovere, a member of the House of della Rovere. He was a grand-nephew of Pope Sixtus IV and a nephew of Pope Julius II. His half-brother, Sisto Gara della Rovere, also became a cardinal.
On August 30, 1504, he became the apostolic administrator of the see of Benevento, and filled this office until his death. He became administrator of the see of Cremona from May 27, 1505, holding that post until shortly before his death. He was Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church from May 31, 1505 until his death. In May 1506, he was papal legate to Bologna. In August 1507, he became administrator of the see of Vicenza. He was a patron of the arts and a good friend of Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici, who later became Pope Leo X.
One historian notes:
"Although Giovio states explicitly that this newly formed intimacy between the Medici and Franciotto had its origin in the diplomatic aims of the former rather than in any mutual inclination of the two young men, yet it is certain that ere long Giovanni grew deeply attached to Galeotto, and that the sorrow expressed by him at the papal nephew's sudden and premature death was both genuine and abiding, for on the testimony of Tommaso Inghirami, we learn that in after years, when the Cardinal de' Medici had been transformed into the Pontiff Leo X, he could not endure to hear Galeotto's name mentioned in his presence, and if anyone were so careless as to allude to his passed friend, the Pope would invariably turn aside his face to hide the tears he was unable to repress. And in the Medici's case this instance of real affection is of peculiar interest, for with the exception of his brother Giuliano, there exists no record of Leo showing any strong affection towards any one of his contemporaries save this nephew of Julius II."
- Biographical Dictionary of the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
- Herbert M. Vaughan, B.A., The Medici Popes (Leo X and Clement VII), London: Methuen & Co., p. 53-54