Conclave of May 1605

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The conclave of May 1605 occurred after the death of Pope Leo XI. († April 27, 1605 ) and met from May 8 to 16, 1605 in Rome . It took eight days and elected Paul V Pope.

College of Cardinals

Leo XI.
Paul V in a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

When Pope Leo XI. after a pontificate of only 17 days died, the college of cardinals numbered 67 cardinals.


The 61 cardinals attending the conclave were:

Cardinals not participating in the conclave

The following six cardinals could not participate 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 Paul V.


Only five weeks had passed since the conclave of March 1605 when the College of Cardinals again voted on May 8, 1605 . On the same day as Pope Leo XI. Cardinal Girolamo Agucci had also died, so that when the conclave closed the Holy College consisted of 67 cardinals, 61 of whom attended the conclave. The sick cardinals Zacchia and Madruzzo did not move into the Cappella Paolina , but stayed in their cells.

With his behavior in the previous conclave, Cardinal Aldobrandini had won more opponents than supporters for a candidacy. The Spaniards nominated Cardinal Sauli. In the first days of the conclave, a group of cardinals tried to push through the candidacy of the highly respected Cardinal Bellarmino SJ, which, however, provoked his own opposition.

After several candidacies failed, Cardinal Aldobrandini tried to have the former military Cardinal Toschi elected by acclamation, which led to a tumult. Toschi was considered by most cardinals to be unsuitable because of his rough manners and his coarse language.

On May 16, the cardinals finally agreed on Camillo Borghese, who was elected by open vote that evening. The 52-year-old took the Pope's name Paul V. The enthronement of the new Pope took place on May 29, 1605 and ended a 32-day sedis vacancy .

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