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Consalvi

cardinal, rome and court

CONSALVI, kon-sarve, Ercole, Italian statesman and cardinal: b. Toscanella, 8 June 1757; d. Rome, 24 Jan. 1824. Having in 1797 entered the public service of the court of Rome in an humble capacity, he was four years later one of the 12 auditors of the Rota, a commis sion in effect a supreme court of a.ppeal in all matters secular as well as ecclesiastical. When the French took possession of Rome, Consalvi, falsely accused of having had part in an assassination, was for a while held in prison and then banished. When Pius VI died, Con salvi was largely instrumental in procuring, in the conclave held at Venice, the election of Cardinal Chiaramonti to the papal throne as Pius VII, and thereafter was that pontiff's chief counsellor; he was now second only to the Pope in all dealings with the European powers and specially with Napoleon. In the course of the controversies between Rome and the French emperor, he showed a firmness that won him the unwilling respect indeed of Na poleon, but also his irreconcilable enmity. It was while the Emperor was flushed with the victory of Austerlitz that he sent to Consalvi through Cardinal Fesch the message, "Tell Con salvi that if he loves his country he must either resign or do what I demand)); and the cardinal prudently withdrew from .public life for a

season. In 1809 he had an interview with Na poleon at Paris, in which the Emperor in effect made an apology for that act; but Consalvi persisted in his opposition to Napoleon's de signs; and was one of the 13 cardinals who refused to concede the lawfulness of the second marriage of Napoleon. In punishment of his obstinacy in that matter he was held in con finement three years at Rheims. After the fall and banishment of Napoleon, he resumed his station in the papal court and devoted himself to the institution of many reforms in the gov ernment, being in effect chief governor of Rome and the papal states. He was always a liberal patron of art, literature and science. He left the bulk of his property to the poor. Con sult Critineau-Joly, (Memoires du Cardinal Consalvi' (Paris 1895).