The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Innocent XIII (1721-1724)
Consistory of July 16, 1721 (II)
Celebrated in Rome

(2) 1. DUBOIS, Guillaume (1656-1723)

Birth. September 6, 1656, in rue des Sœurs no. 24, Brive la Gaillarde, Corrèze, diocese of Limoges, France. Second of the four children of Jean Dubois, a physician and apothecary, and Marie Joyet de Chaumont (1). The other siblings were Joseph, Jean and Jeanne. His last name is also listed as Du Bois.

Education. He received the clerical tonsure on November 28, 1669, from Bishop François de La Fayette of Limoges; then, he attended the school of the Fathers of the Christian Doctrine, Brive la Gaillarde, where he was a distinguished student (classics); he started studying at Collège Saint-Michel, Paris, in November 1672; he never again returned to Brive; obtained a doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law.

Early life. He did private tutoring for nine years to support himself. At the recommendation of M. Faure, director of Collège Saint-Michel, he became sub-preceptor of Philippe, duke of Chartres, nephew of King Louis XIV, on June 15, 1683; the preceptor was M. de Saint-Laurent; he was named full preceptor on September 30, 1687. In 1698, he was part of the extraordinary embassy to England to negotiate the succession to the Spanish throne; the embassy was headed by Camille de la Baume d'Holstun, count de Tallard; he returned to Paris from London the following May 29; in London he made valuable ties. Secretary to the duke of Chartres when he became duke of Orléans, in 1700; all advancements in his career were due to his friendship with the duke. Abbé Dubois accompanied the duke in his campaigns in Italy and Spain. When the duke of Orléans was removed from his military post by King Louis XIV on April 28, 1705, he returned, with his former preceptor to France. Abbé Dubois spent long periods of time away from Paris; in 1713, he spent the entire year in his abbey of Airvaux, in Potiers. King Louis XIV died on September 1, 1715. The duke of Orléans became the regent during the minority of King Louis XV. Abbé Dubois became state councilor on January 1, 1716. In that year, he secured an alliance between France and England against Spain; Holland joined the alliance in 1717; and Austria in 1718 (the Quadruple Alliance). At that time, Cardinal Giulio Alberoni was the prime minister of Spain. Named councilor for foreign affairs, March 26, 1717. Secretary of the Royal Cabinet, April 11, 1717. Minister and secretary of State for foreign affairs, September 24, 1718.

Sacred orders. On Saturday February 24, 1720, in Chanteloup, he received the minor orders and the subdiaconate from Bishop Louis de La Vergne de Tressan of Nantes; and on the following day, the diaconate.

Priesthood. Ordained, March 3, 1720, by Bishop Louis de La Vergne de Tressan of Nantes.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Cambrai, May 6, 1720. On June 4, 1720, he entered in a retreat to prepare praying and meditating for his episcopal consecration. Consecrated, June 9, 1720, church of Val de Grâce, Paris, by Cardinal Armand-Gaston de Rohan, bishop of Strassbourg, assisted by Louis de La Vergne de Tressan, bishop of Nantes, and by Jean-Baptiste Massillon, bishop of Clermont. In December 1720, he obtained the registry of the anti-Jansenist papal constitution Unigenitus Dei Filius.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of July 16, 1721; with an apostolic brief of July 24, 1721, the pope sent him the red biretta; he never went to Rome to receive the red hat and the title. In 1721, after military hostilities, Spain signed and alliance with France. In that same year, the cardinal was achieved peace with Sweden, Denmark and Russia. Named superintendent des postes, October 1721. Member of the Council of Regency, and soon after, ministre principal (prime minister), August 22, 1722. Member of the Académie Française, November 26, 1722. President of the Assembly of the Clergy, May 30, 1723. When King Louis XV was declared of age on February 15, 1723, Cardinal Dubois continued occupying all his posts. Because of his humble origin, strong opposition to Jansenism, and reversal of the aristocratic regime prevalent under King Louis XIV, he was disliked by the nobility. His ecclesiastical career left a great deal to be desired. Although there is no proof of the prevalent assertion that he got secretly married, his licentiousness, and notorious impiety, even at the time of his death, make it evident that he pursued and used ecclesiastical dignities principally to enhance his political position and prestige (2).

Death. August 10, 1723, at 5 p.m., at Versailles, of a renal infection produced by an abscess in the bladder; he had refused to be operated by the surgeon sent by the duke of Orléans, Dr. La Peyronie; he confessed with Fr. Germain, O.F.M.Rec., but declined to receive communion. On August 11, the body of the cardinal was transported to the church of Saint-Honoré, Paris, where he had been a canon (3), and placed in the chapel of the Sainte Vierge; the funeral, with great magnificence, took place on August 19, at 9 a.m. On that same day, the burial took place in the crypt of the canons, presided by M. de Majainville, the priest in charge for that week, and attended by the cardinal's brother, Joseph, his two nephews, one from the chapter of Saint-Honoré, and the other from the chapter of Cambrai. Later, a solemn requiem pontifical mass, ordered by the king, was celebrated by the archbishop of Paris in the cathedral of Notre-Dame. Curiously, there was no funeral oration delivered. The family erected a splendid mausoleum, made by Guillaume Coustou the Elder, in memory of the late cardinal, in which he is represented kneeling down before a prie-Dieu in which the book of the Gospels is open, with the words Miserere mei, Deus. The cardinal has his head and eyes slightly turned toward his left shoulder, to the side of the people.

Bibliography. Bliard, Pierre. Dubois, cardinal et premier ministre (1656-1723). 2 vols. Paris ; P. Lethielleux, 1901-1903; Bourgeois, Émile. Le secret du Régent et la politique de l'Abbe Dubois (Triple et Quadruple Alliances) (1716-1718). Paris : A. Colin, 1910. (La diplomatie secrète au XVIIIe siècle; ses débuts, I); Bourgeois, Émile. Le secret de Dubois, cardinal et premier ministre. Paris : A. Colin, 1910. (La diplomatie secrète au XVIIIe siècle; ses débuts, III); Boutry, Maurice. Une créature du Cardinal Dubois: Intrigues et missions du Cardinal de Tencin, d'après les Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères. Paris : Émile-Paul, 1902; Capefigue, Jean-Baptiste-Honoré-Raymond. Les cardinaux-ministres. Le cardinal Dubois et la régence de Philippe d'Orléans. [S. l.] : [s.n.], 1861; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 195-198; Chapeau, O.S.B. André and Fernand Combaluzier, C.M. Épiscopologe français des temps modernes, 1592-1973. Paris : Letouzey et Ané, 1974, p. 271-272; Dupilet, Alexandre. Le cardinal Dubois; le gênie politique de la Rêgence. Paris : Tallandier, 2015; Mémoires secrets et correspondance inédite du cardinal Dubois, premier ministre sous la régence du duc d'Orléans; recueillis, mis en ordre et augm. d'un précis de la paix d'Utrecht, et de diverses notices historiques. Charles Louis de Sévelinges, editor. 2 vols. Paris : Chez Pillet, 1815; Notizie per l'anno 1722. In Roma MDCCLIII : Nella Stamperia di Galeazzo Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, p. 174, NO. 65; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen V (1667-1730). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1952, pp. 34 and 139.

Webgraphy. Biography by Joseph Sollier, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; his image and biography, in English, Britannica; his image and biography, in English, Wikipedia; his portrait by Hyacinthe Rigaud, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, United States of America; his portrait by Charles Lefebvre, usée national de Versailles, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication; his portrait by Hyacinthe Rigaud, Musée Labenche, Brive, Scala Archives; his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; and his tomb by Guillaume Coustou, ca. 1725, Saint-Roch, Paris, Lib-Art.

(1) Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, VIII, 195, says that he was born of onesti ma poverissimi genitori.
(2) Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, VIII, 196, indicates that Archbishop Dubois, in order to obtain the cardinalitial dignity, suggested that the Regent try to make Parliament accept the bull Unigenitus Dei Filius and thus earn the favor of Pope Innocent XIII, who greatly resisted the promotion. Msgr. Giuseppe Passerini, ablegato to bring the new cardinal's red biretta to Paris, was charged by the pope with recommending Dubois to amend his customs and live a life proper of an ecclesiastic exalted to the first and most conspicuous dignity of the church. The new cardinal, with tears in his eyes, thanked the pope, promised to obey him and assured him that he will not regret having promoted him to the cardinalate. Cardella adds le parole non corrisposero in tutto ai fatti, singolarment rispetto alla bramata riforma dei costumi.
(3) This is the text of his epitaph, composed by M. Couture, rector of the University of Paris, taken from Bliard, Dubois, cardinal et premier minsitre (1656-1723), II, 479:

D.    O.    M.
Ad aram majorem,
In communi canonicorum sepulcro
situs est
Gulielmus Dubois ;
S. R. E. Cardinalis,
Archiepiscopus et dux Cameracensis,
S. lmperii princeps,
Regi a secretioribus consiliis, mandatis
Et legationibus
Publicorum cursorum præfectus,
Primus regni administer,
Hujus ecclesiæ canonicus honorarius;
Quid autem hi tituli ?
Nisi arcus coloratus et fumus,
Ad modicum parens,
Stabiliore, solidioraque bona mortuo

Cool Archive

(3) 2. ALBANI, O.S.Io.Hieros., Alessandro (1692-1779)

Birth. October 15, 1692, Urbino. Of a distinguished Italian family, descendant of refugees from Albania in the fifteenth century. The family had two branches: Bergamo and Urbino. Youngest of the nine children of Orazio Albani and Maria Bernarda Ondedei. Nephew of Pope Clement XI (1700-1721); and brother of Cardinal Annibale Albani (1711). Uncle of Cardinal Gian Francesco Albani (1747). Grand-uncle of Cardinal Giuseppe Albani (1801). The first cardinal of the family was Gian Girolamo Albani (1570).

Education. Studied law at La Sapienza University, Rome.

Early life. Entered the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Rome, August 26, 1701; gran prior of Armenia, 1709. Colonel of a regiment of Dragons in the pontifical troops, 1707. Entered the ecclesiastical life at the request of Pope Clement XI and caused him many problems due to his worldly and undisciplined customs. Envoy, with his brother Carlo, to Bologna to welcome King Frederick IV of Denmark. Abbot commendatario of the abbey of S. Lorenzo di Campo, from approximately 1717 to 1744. Referendary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, June 1718. Secretary of Memorials, December 8, 1718. Cleric of the Apostolic Chamber, May 10, 1719; and prefect of the Archives. Sent to Vienna to conclude the negotiations for the restitution of Comacchio, 1720.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of July 16, 1721, with dispensation for having a brother in the Sacred College of Cardinals and not having received the minor orders; received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Adriano, September 24, 1721. Granted dispensation to receive the sacred orders outside of Ember days and without time intervals, August 2, 1721. Received the subdiaconate, December 20, 1721. Abbot commendatario of the abbey of S. Leonardo di Siponto, 1721 to 1741. Opted for the deaconry of S. Maria in Cosmedin, September 23, 1722. Participated in the conclave of 1724, which elected Pope Benedict XIII. Abbot commendatario of the abbey of Nonantola, June 1724. Protector of the kingdom of Sardinia and of the estates of its king from 1724; participated in the negotiations of the concordat of 1727. Abbot commendatario of the abbey of Staffarda, around 1730. Participated in the conclave of 1730, which elected Pope Clement XII. Minister of Piamonte in Rome in 1737; he nogociated the new concordat with Sardinia (kingdom of Piamonte) in 1741. Prefect od the Congregation delle Acque, Paludi, Pontiue, e Chiane from August 1738. Participated in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV. Opted for the deaconry of S. Agata in Suburra, retaining in commendam until his death the deaconry of S. Maria in Cosmedin, August 7, 1741. Opted for the deaconry of S. Maria ad Martyres, March 11, 1743. Protector of the kingdom and hereditary dominions of the House of Austria in 1743. Minister of Austria in Rome, 1744-1748. Protector of the Empire in 1746. Cardinal protodeacon. Opted for the deaconry of S. Maria in Via Lata, April 10, 1747, customarily assigned to the cardinal protodeacon. He was also protector of the Canons Regular Premonstratense, November 1751; of the Maronite nation; of Collegio Germanico Ungarico, Rome; and of the Clerics Regular Minor. Minister of Austria before the Holy See, agagin, from 1756 until his death. Participated in the conclave of 1758, which elected Pope Clement XIII; as cardinal protodeacon, he crowned the new pope. Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, August 12, 1761 until his death. Participated in the conclave of 1769, which elected Pope Clement XIV; as cardinal protodeacon, he crowned the new pope. Participated in the conclave of 1774-1775, which elected Pope Pius VI; as cardinal protodeacon, he crowned the new pope. A patron of arts, he built Villa Albani, 1760, and filled it with Roman and Greek art works. Since the pontificate of Pope Clement XIV he aligned himself with the zelanti against the interference of the European monarchs.

Death. December 11, 1779, Rome. Exposed in the church of S. Lorenzo in Lucina, Rome, where the funeral took place. Transferred privately to the church of S. Sebastiano fuori le mura, Rome, and buried in his family's tomb (1).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 198-200; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, I, 180-181; Notizie per l'anno MDCCLXXIX. In Roma MDCCLXXIX : Nella Stamperia Cracas, p. 111-113; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen V (1667-1730). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1952, pp. 34, 52 and 54; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 50, 51 and 52; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), I, 14.

Webgraphy. Biography by Lesley Lewis, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 1 (1960), Treccani; Albani Cardinals by Thomas Shahan, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; his portrait, secolo XVIII (1700-1749), ambito bolognese, regione ecclesiastica Emilia Romagna, diocesi Bologna, Beni Ecclesiastici in web, (BeWeB); engravings, portrait and memorial plaque, Araldica Vaticana; his tomb, Requiem Datenbank.

(1) This is the text of the inscription in his tomb, taken from Araldica Vaticana, linked above:


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