Conclave March 1605

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The March 1605 conclave met after the death of Pope Clement VIII († March 3, 1605 ) and met from March 14 to April 1, 1605 in Rome . It lasted 18 days and chose Leo XI. to the Pope.

College of Cardinals

Clement VIII
Leo XI.

When Pope Clement VIII died, the College of Cardinals numbered 69 cardinals.


The 60 cardinals attending the conclave were:

Cardinals not participating in the conclave

The following nine cardinals could not take part in the conclave:

Cardinal uprisings

The cardinals present in the conclave were elevated to cardinalate by the following popes:

Notes on the Cardinals

  1. Was elected Pope and took the name Leo XI. on
  2. Was later elected Pope and then took the name Paul V.


Like the previous conclave 13 years earlier, this papal election was also deeply politically influenced. The French cardinals had received instructions from King Henry IV , as had the Spanish cardinals from Philip III. From the Spanish side, the cardinals Valiero, de 'Medici and Arigoni should be nominated. The French King Henry IV, on the other hand, wanted either Cardinal Baronio, as an instruction of March 7, 1605 to Cardinal Joyeuse shows, or Pietro Aldobrandini in the chair of Peter. At the beginning of the conclave on March 14, 1605, 60 of the 69 cardinals were present in Rome.

The majority in the college could be assessed, but none of the parties had the necessary two-thirds majority . The strongest party was that of Pietro Cardinal Aldobrandini. Of the 39 cardinals from the pontificate of Clement VIII, 22 followed him. The Montalto side had eight votes and the Spaniards 13 supporters. Some cardinals stood outside each party, among them the oratorians Tarugi and Baronio, the Jesuit Bellarmino and Federico Cardinal Borromeo.

In the course of the conclave, 21 candidates were treated as papabili . This suggested a longer conclave. On March 19, the rumor spread that Cardinal Baronio had won 39 votes, but this news turned out to be false. In the vote on March 24th, Baronio received 23 votes and on the following day 27, on March 27th he received 31 and on March 30th even 32 votes. Cardinal Baronio was only 8 votes short of the required majority. In the first votes, however, Alessandro Ottaviano de 'Medici's number of votes was insignificant. On April 1st, the situation suddenly changed. Baronio received only 28 votes, de 'Medici received 13 votes. After even Cardinal Baronio stood up for Cardinal de 'Medici, everything changed suddenly. Two thirds of the electorate had gathered in front of de 'Medici's cell and he was promoted to pope without any further formal vote. Then the cardinals gathered in the Cappella Paolina to pay homage to the new Pope. In order to conform to the form, an open vote was then carried out. In memory of his ancestor Giovanni de 'Medici, who was called Pope Leo X. , the newly elected took the Pope name Leo XI. on. Since it was now late in the evening, the conclave did not end until the morning of April 2, 1605.

The enthronement of the new Pope took place on April 10, 1605 and ended a sedi vacancy of 36 days.

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