Papal conclave, 1471
Coat of arms during the vacancy of the Holy See
|Dates and location|
|6-9 August 1471
Apostolic Palace, Papal States
|Francesco della Rovere
Name taken: Sixtus IV
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. This was in part due to the unexpectedness of the death of Paul II.
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. 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.
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. 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).
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. 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.
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. Notable favorites in the ensuing scrutinies are (chronologically): Calandrini, Forteguerri, and Roverella.
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. The cardinals voting for della Rovere in the scrutiny were: Monferrato, Zeno, Michiel, Agnifilo, Roverella,Forteguerri, Bessarion, Calandrini, and Orsini. 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".
|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|
|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|
- Burkle-Young, Francis A. 1998. "The election of Pope Sixtus IV (1471)".
- Trollope, Thomas Adolphus. 1876. The papal conclaves, as they were and as they are. p. 156.
- Creighton, Mandell. 1887. A history of the papacy during the period of the Reformation. p. 56.