Italian cardinal. A central figure in 19th century Catholicism. Papal secretary of state 1829-30. Secretary of Apostolic Briefs. Cardinal Librarian of the Church. Created a cardinal in 1818. He held numerous other offices.
LS - Letter Signed, one page, March 1828, as papal legate in Bologna. Likely routine. Sold for the collectibility of his autograph.
He held major offices in the Roman Curia from a relativelyh early age and by the time he was made a cardinal by Pius VII, Albani already was an important figure. During the French occupation of Rome he took refuge in Vienna and, during this time, he became firmly allied with the Habsburg monarchy, a connection which later gave him an important role in subsequent papal conclaves, since he served as intermediary for the exercise of the veto which the Habsburgs claimed to exercise over papal elections. His importance was evident in the conclave of 1823, in which he presented the veto of Emperor Francis I of Austria against the election of Cardinal Antonio Gabriele Severoli. In that of 1829, though Albani was absent from the early ballots, his support for Pius VIII proved significant. In the conclave of 1830 he managed to exclude Cardinal Giacomo Giustiniani, though his own candidate, Cardinal Macchi, raised only 12 votes. He announced the elections of Pius VIII and Gregory XVI and crowned both of them.
Among his other posts were: prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Secretary of Secret Domestic Briefs and Cardinal Librarian of the Holy Roman Church.
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