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An attractive and scarce handwritten and autograph signed letter
from Cardinal Cappellari who became Pope Gregory XVI
who, after 83 ballots, was the last man elected Pope who was not a Bishop


Italian Transcription:

Illustrissimo Signore,

Discussi in breve metter mano alla stampa del manoscritto del Coletti; è bene cominciar dalla [via?]. Perciò se Vostra Signoria Illustrissima la tiene in ordine, potrà favorire di mandarmi sollecitamente li fogli, procurandosi mezzo di farmeli impostare a Ferrara o Bologna.
Sono con parziale distinta stima, pregandole de' miei saluti al buon Battaggia [?],
                 Il 26 Luglio 1828
                                         Di Vostra Signoria Illustrissima,
                                        A[ssiduosi?]ssimo [ansiosissimo?; affetuosissimo?] per servirla,
                                                                         D. M. Card. Cappellari

Dr. G. Ant. Moschini
Professore nel Seminario Patriarcale

English Translation:

Most Illustrious Sir,

I discussed in brief undertaking the printing of the manuscript of Coletti ; it is good to get started [on the way?]. Therefore if Your Illustrious Lordship holds it in order, he will be able to promptly send me the leaves, finding a means to have them mailed to me in Ferrara or Bologna.
I am, with devoted and extraordinary esteem, and begging you to convey my greetings to the good Battaggia [?],
               26 July, 1828
                                           Your Illustrious Lordship's
                                            most [assiduous? faithful? affectionate?] servant,
                                                                          D[on]. M. Card[inal] Cappellari
Dr. G. Ant. Moschini,
Professor at the Patriarchal Seminary,

Autograph Signature of Cardinal Cappellari
later Pope Gregory XVI

Historical Note

His Eminence Mauro Bartolomeo Alberto Cardinal Cappellari, O.S.B.Cam., Cardinal Priest of San Callisto, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide, was elected Bishop of Rome on 2 February 1831 in the Quirinal Apostolic Palace, taking the name Gregory XVI, and was consecrated to the episcopate and crowned on 6 February, at the age of 65-years.

Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari came from an aristocratic family and was the last monk to be pope; prior to assuming the papal throne he was a Camadolese monk and Vicar-general of the Camaldolese order. In March 1825 he was created Cardinal by Pope Leo XII and shortly afterwards was entrusted with an important mission to adjust a concordat regarding the interests of the Catholics of Walloon in the Protestant dominated Netherlands. He negotiated peace on behalf of Armenian Catholics with the Ottoman Empire.

On February 2, 1831, after sixty-four days of conclave, he was unexpectedly chosen to succeed Pope Pius VIII (1829–30) in the papal chair. His election was influenced by the fact that the cardinal considered the most likely papabile, Giacomo Cardinal Giustiniani, was vetoed by King Fernando VII of Spain. The other major candidates, Emmanuele De Gregorio and Bartolomeo Pacca, had been candidates in the previous conclave. When a deadlock arose between them, the cardinals turned to Cappellari but it took as many as eight-three ballots for a decisive result to be obtained. Gregory XVI was the last man elected Pope who was not already a bishop. In fact, of subsequent Popes, only Pius XII was never the bishop of a diocese.

The choice of Gregory XVI as his regnal name was influenced by the fact that he had been abbot of San Gregorio monastery on the Coelian Hill for over twenty years. This was the same abbey from which Pope Gregory the Great had dispatched many bishops to England in 596.

Giovanni Antonio Moschini was abbot and a Professor at the Seminario Patriarcale in Venice, a monastery built by Baldassare Longhena in 1672. He wrote a well known guide to the city, was educated in art and architecture and a fresco painter.


Front of Cover 

Reverse of Cover

"V/Stato Pontificio" Papal State Red Cancel

Detail of Wax Seal

Venezia 31 Lug[li]o - Venice 31 July
 - Red Receiving Mark

Document Specifications:  Wove Paper with "VS" watermark. Letter is one folded sheet (bifolium) into four pages. One page is address panel and one page a handwritten and autographed letter by Cardinal Cappellari and dated 26 July 1828. Two pages are blank, Address panel page missing a corner not affecting letter or address panel. Letter page measures: 190mm wide x 250mm tall. Addressed to Giovanni Antonio Moschini, Professor at the Seminario of Patriarcale, Venice and dated 26 July 1828. It is written in Italian. It is stamped as received in Venice on the back in red on 31 July 1828. There is a faint impression of the cardinal's insignia in the red wax seal. Condition: Very Fine. A scarce opportunity to own a piece of Papal History as Cardinal Cappellari writes a letter to abbot Moschini prior to becoming Pope Gregory XVI.

Note on Transcription and Translation: Dr. Nicholas Tussing has provided the transcription and translation for this document. Dr. Tussing holds a Masters Degree in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a Masters Degree in Medieval Studies and a Doctorate in Romance Languages from Catholic University of America. He has trained in an interdisciplinary program which studied the development of handwriting from Latin paleography to modern vernacular texts. He has particularly specialized in 15th century Italian Chivalric poetry. Dr. Tussing has worked as a transciptionist and translator for Catholic University whose archival collections of Italian, Latin and French letters and documents from the 16th to the late 19th century relate to the history of the papacy and of the Catholic Church in Italy. Dr. Tussing has also created and published finding aids for Catholic University's archival collections in French, Italian, and Latin, relating to the history of the papacy. These holdings included papal letters and other documents; episcopal letters; conclave reports and treatises on papal conclaves; as well as general historic letters, dispatches, and other documents.

 Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.

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End of Item - # PSC - 1828 POPE GREGORY XVI ALS

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