Letter from the nuncio to France [Bernardino Spada] to the PF prefect [Ludovico Ludovisi], 1627-02-02, Paris


Letter from the nuncio to France [Bernardino Spada] to the PF prefect [Ludovico Ludovisi], 1627-02-02, Paris


Cardinal rings


Cardinal Spada informs PF that the archbishop of Paris is heir (but not beneficiary) of the late Cardinal de Retz, and that he could perhaps be "lured" to pay the fee for his late brother's cardinal ring (which had not been paid) by way of a brief from the pope, which would do him honor, especially since he (the archbishop) seems well disposed toward "Rome." The note on the back indicates that PF did not deem a brief appropriate, but instead charged Cardinal Bentivoglio to send the archbishop a letter to this effect, and entreated Cardinal Spada to also work himself on convincing the archbishop, considering that he (Cardinal Spada) had had great success in convincing another French cardinal to pay the fee for his ring (i.e. Cardinal de Sourdis). Cardinal Spada was also asked to remind Cardinal de La Valette to honor his promise to pay his fee as well, if he wants to please PF, following the example of other French cardinals who paid their own. The second part of the letter/note refers to Gabriel Sionita's planned travel to Rome and request for supporting funds (granted by PF only to a max. of 100 scudi).
Date discussed 1627-03-08
Additional comments
a) Cardinal Spada was leaving the French nunciature that year. b) Other cardinals who had not paid for their rings according to the "constitution" of Pope Gregory XV are mentioned in other documents, together with the nuncio's efforts to extract the money. See for instance "Cardinale della Cueua" in SOCG 129, f. 3-3v/note6v (letter by the nuncio from Paris, 15 April 1627). Josef Metzler discusses the matter in "Foundation of the Congregation 'de Propaganda Fide' by Gregory XV," in J. Metzler, ed., Sacrae Congregationis de Propaganda Fide Memoria Rerum, vol. I/1 (Herder: Rome, Freiburg, Vienna, 1972), 79-111, here 99-100. Metzler notes that "most of the Italian Cardinals were prompt in making their offering" but that there were difficulties with the French. Metzler mentions that Cardinal Richelieu and Cardinal de Sourdis eventually paid at the end of 1624, and de Sourdis even paid double, i.e. 1,000 scudi. For these cases, Metzler cites APF Lettere vol. 2 (1622-1623), f. 29v, 49r, and 64r-v. NB: The "constitution" of Gregory XV (1622) established that the fees traditionally paid by the heirs of the deceased cardinals for their cardinal rings be turned over to PF; a later decision by PF (same year) stated that current cardinals should feel free to make their payment in advance in order to support PF; and that, in the future, newly created cardinals would have to pay their fee to the PF on the day they were appointed (Metzler cites APF Acta vol. 3 (1622-1625) f. 5v-6r).


Bernardino Spada


APF SOCG 129, 2r, 7v




Addressed to [Ludovico Ludovisi]


For the minutes of the PF meeting where this matter was discussed, see: APF ACTA 4, 219 (database item 43).


Original; signed; Italian note on 7v in Italian and Latin.








Origin: Paris
Destination: Rome


Bernardino Spada, “Letter from the nuncio to France [Bernardino Spada] to the PF prefect [Ludovico Ludovisi], 1627-02-02, Paris,” Early Modern Documents: Sources and Resources for Historical Research, accessed February 28, 2024, https://earlymoderndocs.omeka.net/items/show/13881.