Of Briefs and Privileges: The role of the ambassador to the Holy See (Frà Marcello Sacchetti) in safeguarding the Order of St John's position during the 1680s

Adrian Scerri*


This paper follows briefly the acquisition of privileges by the Order of St John. It then traces the concept of a 'Christian Republic' which served as justification for the privileges that military orders enjoyed. These short preambles serve to put the two cases dealt with in perspective, making the cases discussed clearer by giving an over-arching picture both of the bestowment of privileges and the arguments used to safeguard them. The paper's main focus is on the strategy of the ambassador to the Holy See, Frà Marcello Sacchetti, in seeking to obey his Prince's instructions and obtain a favourable outcome. By way of conclusion, it is hoped to impart information on one of the roles of the Order's ambassador in the Papal States and the strategy he adopted in executing his mission.

Real immunity

The Roman Catholic Church and its institutions were ipso facto exempted from secular authority. The Church enjoyed what is called 'real immunity' that is 'the right whereby it is claimed that the property of the Church and the clergy are exempted from secular jurisdiction and from all fiscal and other burdens imposed by secular authority.'[1] As a religious order, the Hospital was covered by this privilege. Moreover, between 1135 and 1154, the Hospital became exempt even from the authority of bishops, which was a relatively new privilege being given by popes to new religious congregations.[2] In fact, by 1179 this had already caused enough friction to warrant an admonition in the Third Lateran Council: 'Now we have learnt from the strongly [p.96] worded complaints of our brethren and fellow bishops that the Templars and Hospitallers, and other professed religious, exceeding the privileges granted them by the apostolic see have often disregarded Episcopal authority' (Canon 9).[3] The Pope on occasion could, through the issuing of a brief, waive off this privilege for the financial benefit both of Episcopal and secular authorities although it seems that popes tended to be lenient towards military orders.[4] Thus, in the Council of Vienne (1311-1312) the Pope suspended this privilege for all orders except the Order of St John: 'only the priors, preceptors, masters, persons and places of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem and of the said military orders are to be excepted' (Session 1).[5] The Hospital basked in the papacy's favour to the extent that only its direct mention by name could include it when such suspension of privileges occurred. Thus during the Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence-Rome (1431-1445) the Order was specifically mentioned: 'This holy synod therefore imposes on each and every ecclesiastical person, both exempt and non-exempt under whatever form or words, even the order of St John of Jerusalem' (Session 25).[6]

The exclusion of the Hospital from secular impositions, unless the wording of the brief clearly mentioned it by name, was the Order's insurance policy against grasping royal hands. A monarch in dire need of money could petition the pope for permission to tax church property within that monarch's territory. Since a significant percentage of the Order's income came from its properties in Europe, any hint of a threat upon its privileges was treated with the utmost importance. Such an extent of property demanded a sophisticated internal organisation if it were to produce a surplus. Over the centuries, the Order seems to have risen to the occasion and managed its property tolerably well.[7] But the Order knew that efficient administration alone could not guarantee the steady flow of income from its commanderies. As Luttrell clearly puts it, 'the Hospital's retention and enjoyment of these Western properties, incomes and privileges depended on a second factor, the continued support of popes, princes, and public opinion in general.[8] What the Order dreaded most was that once an exception was given to a prince to impose taxes upon it, the exception would quickly become habitual. Thus, although the Order's exclusion from impositions was the official position unless otherwise stated, in practice the Order had to make sure that no ambiguity could lurk behind the wording of such briefs. The privilege was there, but it had to be justified. In [p.97] justifying exemption from taxes on its territories, the Religion appealed to its very nature, that is, the defence of the Christian Republic in the eternal war against the Infidel. A remnant from the crusading past, this phenomenon was still appealed to when deemed convenient by popes and princes alike.

The ideal of a 'Christian Republic'

The ideal of a 'Christian Republic' had its roots in Europe's medieval past. The predominance of Christianity had given a sense of unity that had not been known since Roman hegemony.[9] Politically, medieval society still vaguely viewed itself as Roman.[10] This sense of solidarity did not prevent bitter internal wars but it gave some form of political and religious cohesion as 'the unity of the Church echoed the unity of the Roman Empire'.[11] This unity found expression in the phrase res publica Christiana, a phrase which seemed to imply the baptism of the Imperial past.[12] But the Christian Republic had a powerful neighbour and 'Christianity had to undertake a difficult and dramatic campaign against it, inventing its own Holy War, the Crusade.’[13] The Crusades did not introduce Europe to war with Islam, but the First Crusade in 1095 was 'the first that was collective, self-conscious and spectacular.'[14] The Crusades became an 'obsessive mystique' that helped shape Europe by finishing the process of fixing Christendom's southern borders and enabling the European reconquest of the Mediterranean.[15] It was also the founding of the Latin Kingdom in the Levant which gave birth to the Military Orders that in essence embodied the ideal of the Christian Republic. With the change of fortunes in the Levant, the Order of St John managed to carve for itself a role in the new state of affairs. As circumstances change, an institution has to face a twofold crisis: a crisis of identity and a crisis of relevance. It is a sociological quandary. The more an institution adheres to its roots, the less relevant it becomes. On the other hand, if it adopts drastic changes in order to become relevant, it risks losing its identity. The loss of the Holy Land challenged the Order's raison d'être but it had two factors in its favour. Firstly, the caring of the sick remained, and still remains, relevant for a Hospitaller institution. Secondly, the loss of the Holy Land neither spelt the end of war with Islam nor the annihilation of the ideal of the res publica Christiana. Thus, it was by referring to these factors that, in the 1680s, the Order's ambassador in Rome, Frà Marcello Sacchetti, sought to defend his institution from losing a substantial percentage of its income from its territories in Portugal and the lands of the Holy Roman Emperor.

[p.98] The Case of the King of Portugal

The term 'blood-shedding' was actually used when the Order's privileges in Portugal seemed to be in jeopardy. The case is first documented on 2 July 1682, in Grand Master Frà Gregorio Carafa's correspondence for that year.[16] In a detailed letter to his ambassador, the Grand Master informed Frà Marcello Sacchetti that the King of Portugal, Pedro II (1648-1706), wanted to raise one million cruciati for the dowry of his daughter the Princess, who was engaged to the Duke of Savoy. The Grand Master had also learnt that the King had supplicated the Pope for the permission to tax Church property and that the Pontiff had conceded to his supplication by granting a brief to the King in which only the Jesuits were exempted. From the intelligence he had, the Grand Master believed that the Hospital had not been mentioned by name, which fact alone he wrote 'should not include our Order in such hateful practices, as these impositions are, in conformity with our many privileges and especially according to the bull of Pius IV.[17]

This assurance was evidently not enough for the Grand Master's peace of mind. In the second part of his letter he instructed his ambassador to be vigilant in obtaining all intelligence regarding any changes in this case. He also required Sacchetti to petition the Pope for the express exclusion of the Religion, elaborating on the arguments that were to be used: 'as has been done on various similar occasions, in particular when such a concession was granted to the King of Poland for the war he had with the Turk.'[18] Moreover, Sacchetti was to insist that 'the income of our Religion goes primarily towards the service of Christianity, namely to defend it from the Ottoman power, and for the caring for the sick.'[19]

Sacchetti's first step towards the execution of this delicate mission was to speak to a certain Church official, Monsignor Slutio to learn more about the content of this brief. Monsignor Slutio assured him that no such brief had been issued and if it were to be issued, it would be unjust: 'as long as the Princess was not going to a husband in a way that was below her status, she need not take with her more dowry, apart from the promise of her kingdom to which she has been sworn heiress.'[20] Seeing, however, that the matter weighed heavily on the Grand [p.99] Master's agenda, Sacchetti went to the Congregation of Ecclesiastical Immunity.[21] This Congregation was established in 1626 by Pope Urban VIII. The official name in Latin was Congregatio pro executione et interpretatione concilii Tridentini. Its original function was the correct interpretation of the canons of the Council of Trent, but eventually it took the role of monitoring the secular clergy, examining claims concerning the violation of jurisdiction and ecclesiastical privileges by secular authorities (the so-called 'religious immunity').[22] Sacchetti learnt that the plea had just been made in that Congregation. He was assured of this by Monsignor Patriarch Antonio Altoviti, Secretary of the Congregation of the Council, or simply the Council, as it had become known.[23] Not satisfied with this, Sacchetti proceeded to the Congregation of Bishops where he was again assured that no such brief had been granted, and that in considering the King's plea, the privileges of the Religion would be safeguarded.[24] Notwithstanding all these assurances, the Grand Master's fears seem to have been well-founded. Sacchetti shared the same foreboding as he informed his Prince on 29 August: 'It would distress me greatly should this brief be issued, for if sent, I see little hope that the Religion would be exempted from paying up once it has been included.'[25]

In fact, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Alderano Cibo, told Sacchetti's secretary, a certain Mancini, that a five-year extension had been granted to the brief conceded in Portugal. However, certain difficulties were encountered when attempts were made to enforce the brief, so it was changed and impositions were put on foodstuffs.[26] By 10 October, Sacchetti had mustered his arguments. He sent a letter to Cardinal Cibo pleading for the exemption of the Religion, a copy of which he sent to the Grand Master.[27] On the same day, he also sent a letter to the Pope, reminding him that his concession to the King of Portugal to take contributions from Religious Orders did not include the Military Orders, citing the Bull by Pius IV, which Bull was confirmed by Popes Innocent X and Clement X.[28] In order to leave no room for doubt, Sacchetti supplicated the Pope:

Humbly we supplicate Your Holiness to declare that it was not nor is it his intention to include the aforementioned [Military] Orders considering that these privileges were given to them Titolo Oneroso, that is not only utilise their possessions, but also [p.100] shed their blood in defence of the Christian Republic fighting against the Turk, as the Rota confirms in Decision 72 number 6.[29]

This plea seems to have had the desired effect. On 24 October 1682, the Pope wrote to the Nunzio in Portugal that 'it had never been his intention to include in the said brief the possessions of the Religion and charged his Nunzio to express these sentiments to that Prince.'[30] Sacchetti also sent Secretary Mancini to Cardinal Cibo in order to see the letter with his own eyes. A copy was duly made, which, though not exact, as he explained to the Grand Master, was a summary that conveyed the essence of the original.[31] With confidence, the ambassador could assure his Prince that the property of the Religion would remain untouched.

There remained only the formality of acquiring an official copy of the letter that the Secretary of State had formulated on behalf of the Pope that declared the Order of St John to be exempt from the brief conceded to the King of Portugal. Again this was not as simple as it seemed. Sacchetti proposed to try and obtain the copy from Cardinal Cibo, 'as the Secretariat only concedes copies of letters somewhat reluctantly.'[32] The ambassador's diligence proved to be successful as this case ended favourably for the Order.

The Case of the Holy Roman Emperor

A similar case involving Royalty and the Order's exemptions occurred almost a year later. The Habsburg Emperor, Leopold I (16584705), had even more pressing needs than the marriage of a daughter. In 1683 'the whole Habsburg structure was thrown into panic by the major Ottoman attack under Kara Mustafa which led to the lengthy siege of Vienna itself.'[33] This siege was to be the last large scale Ottoman effort against Western Europe, the siege which Braudel calls the 'the last great tremor' of 'this great machine'.[34] On 16 October 1683, Sacchetti reported what the Venerable Prior of Bohemia Era Colluvrat had written to him. The Pope had granted a brief, (a copy of which the Prior had sent to Sacchetti), to the Emperor to enable him to raise money 'for the present needs'.[35] This brief did not augur well for the Order.

[p.101] With foreboding, Sacchetti wrote that although the Religion was not specifically mentioned yet the brief comprised different Religious Orders 'military, Hospitaller and Commanderies.'[36] He concluded that though not stated, the wording seemed to include the Religion. Nevertheless, Sacchetti's advice to the Prior betrayed no hint of pessimism:

To this I told him [Prior Frà Colluvrat] that, as in the past so today, the inclusion of the possessions of the Order requires a special declaration that retracts its privileges, adding that with respect he must represent the above to his Eminence the Nunzio Bonvisi, pleading the suspension of the said collection of obligations until he gets an answer from Rome.[37]

This very reasoning, however, put Sacchetti in a dilemma. Monsignor Slutio had assured him that for the Religion to be included, it had to be specifically nominated. The dilemma was that Sacchetti had to plead for a specific exemption from this brief, yet, he was afraid that his plea might have the adverse effect since logically and legally the Order was not yet included anyway. 'I would not want', he wrote to the Grand Master, 'to doubt that which is, I'm told by the said ministers, quite clear.'[38] He resolved to direct his petition to Cardinal Cibo, considering that the Nunzio would inevitably write to him as Secretary of State, thus the Cardinal would be prepared beforehand with all the necessary information.[39]

The next letter dealing with this case is quite intriguing. Sacchetti recapitulated the case, citing again Monsignor Slutio's favourable opinion that since the Order was not specifically mentioned in the brief, then it was automatically excluded from the impositions.[40] He also said that the Grand Prior of Bohemia, Ira Colluvratt, had requested him 'that I manage to obtain an exemption for the possessions of those Priories from the said impositions.'[41] The Grand Prior's request was for the lands under his responsibility to be explicitly excluded, that is by a clear declaration underlining the exemption from all impositions. The use of the terms 'military, Hospitaller and Commanderies' had evidently left room for doubt. Sacchetti went to the Pope himself in the hope of obtaining a clear and favourable answer. Even here, the answer was not as definite as the ambassador would have wished for. The Pope spoke cordially enough, saying that 'it had been his intention not to burden the Religion if it had not been burdened by his predecessors in similar cases, and [p.102] that in this last concession to the Emperor he had made use of the same wording that Alexander VII, of Sacred Memory, had used in the year 1664.'[42] This did not add much to what Monsignor Slutio had told Sacchetti, and the Order's position remained ambiguous, since the brief was open to interpretation.

Meanwhile, the Prior sent Sacchetti a copy of a letter that the Nunzio had written to the Archbishop of Prague. This advised the Archbishop to raise the sum of fifty thousand toilers to help the Emperor, who was to subsequently send a declaration of the brief that included all the privileged, naming the Jesuits and the Order.[43] Such wording was worrying enough to warrant another visit by Sacchetti to Monsignor Slutio, who repeated the precise words as before, that is: 'the Religion was neither included nor excluded, and that should be enough for us to be exempted from paying in virtue of our privileges, concluding that the Venerable Prior should not allow any payment to be extracted from that Priory unless in the publication of this said brief, His Eminence the Nunzio has not included the Religion.'[44] The Prior had sent Sacchetti a copy of the brief as published in Bohemia. Having scrutinized it, he found no mention of the Religion as such, 'though there were the words Commanderies, and any Religions and Military.'[45] This letter drove Sacchetti more often to Cardinal Cibo, fervently petitioning him as he wanted 'to know the mind of His Holiness about this matter.'[46] His objective, as he explains to the Grand Master, was to get the Pope or at least Cardinal Cibo to send a letter to the Nunzio stating clearly that it had never been the Pope's intention to include the Religion in the Emperor's brief, a confirmation which the Pope had hinted at when Sacchetti had spoken to him in the same audience.[47] Such assurance came from Cardinal Cibo, who on a visit on another matter, informed Sacchetti that the Pope had never intended to include the Religion. Sacchetti's tone of jubilation is evident:

Then yesterday, I went to Cardinal Cibo regarding another case, which Your Eminence will see from another letter of mine. He told me that he had written on behalf of the Pope to His Eminence the Nunzio that the Pope had never intended to include the Religion in these impositions. Having expressed my humble gratitude, I requested [p.103] a copy of the said letter which he kindly promised to give. I sent for it to obtain it from the Secretary of State, and if I have it in time, I will send your Eminence a copy attached, which you can register in the Chancellery as it can come very useful in similar cases. For instance other Pontificates would see that in this situation, the Pope, who had given considerable financial aid to the Emperor to which almost everyone contributed, expressly excluded the Religion with a declaration. I take the opportunity to congratulate Your Eminence since with this it seems that the Religion is covered for all time.[48]

The Grand Master was naturally pleased with his ambassador's zeal and evidently expressed it as Sacchetti testified in his letter dated 19 February 1684, a letter which brought to an official conclusion this intriguing case. 'I am greatly delighted' wrote Sacchetti, 'that Your Eminence was satisfied with my work in obtaining the declaration from His Holiness'.[49]


Early information was imperative in such cases because a brief, once issued, would be very difficult to retract. Although the Order was well-connected in papal circles and the pope was its supreme head, yet the applicants for these briefs were powerful monarchs. As obviously all disputations between secular authority and religious orders had to pass through Rome, the ambassador there was in the best position to learn of all developments from the source and act accordingly. The ambassador's strategy was typical of the age. He unashamedly appealed to officials well-disposed towards the Order with persistence and tenacity. It was, after all, the supreme age of patronage. It was at once both horse and carriage for the political society of the seventeenth century. It permeated the whole political system, from prince to peasant and from pope to parish priest. Patronage was entwined with life in all European courts, and the papal one was no exception. For instance in France, 'influence peddling and the search for patronage were major court activities that helped set the tone of life at Versailles.'[50] Evidently, [p.104] the contacts that Sacchetti had, served him well in these cases for he managed to obtain in writing further confirmation of the Order's privileges. Yet this success should not be solely attributed to having the right contacts. The Order's arguments as voiced by its ambassador were logical enough. The revenue of the Religion was for the effective exercise of its dual vocation: welfare and warfare. It could not be expected to maintain its numerous charities and wage war if its income was going to be gnawed at to subsidise a Princess' dowry and the Emperor's army. The reason for its privileges was the reason for its existence. Hence the appeal to the res pub/lea Christiana and the mortal fear of precedent. The Order could ill-afford to lose one case wherein its ancient privileges would be overridden by a papal brief in the hands of a monarch. That would have heavily influenced subsequent cases and encroachment upon its exemptions justified by mere citation. The Order feared that a brief born as an exception would become convention for subsequent briefs. Conversely the Religion's arguments, as voiced by its ambassador, became stronger and more plausible with each positive conclusion. Each favourable ruling meant another weapon in the Order's arsenal that could be brandished when the threat came not from a Muslim potentate but from a Catholic prince.

* ADRIAN SCERRI graduated in theology in 1997 and obtained his masters in the same in 2006, linking the passion of Greek tragedy with the depth of the Gospel of John. In 2011 he obtained an MA in Hospitaller Studies. Taking the Order's diplomacy as his area of specialization, he concentrated on the career of Frà Marcello Sacchetti, ambassador for the Order at the Holy See during the magistracy of Frà Gregorio Carafa.

[1] W.E. Addis and T. Arnold eds., A Catholic Dictionary, London 1955, 428.

[2] J. Riley-Smith, Hospitallers. The History of the Order of St John, London 1999, 61.

[3] N.P. Tanner ed., Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, vol. I, London 1990, 216.

[4] A brief, in Italian breve, is 'a letter issuing from the Court of Rome, written on fine parchment in modern characters, subscribed by the Pope's Secretary of briefs, dated in the modern style (e.g. die nona Septembris, MCMXIV), and sealed with the Pope's signet-ring, the seal of the Fisherman.’ W.E. Addis and T. Arnold eds., A Catholic Dictionary, London 1955, 91. A Bull is a similar document but weightier than a brief. It is sealed by the leaden seal of the reigning pontiff hence the name. See Catholic Dictionary, 93.

[5] Tanner 1990, 353.

[6] Tanner 1990, 511.

[7] H.I.A. Sire, The Knights of Malta, New Haven and London 2001, 110.

[8] A.T. Luttrell, 'Malta and Rhodes', in Hospitaller Malta 1530-1798: Studies on Early Modern Malta and the Order of St John of Jerusalem, ed. Victor Mallia-Milanes, Malta 1993, 270.

[9] G. Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy, New York 1955, 16.

[10] Mattingly 1955, 17.

[11] B. Russell, History of Western Philosophy, London and New York 2004, 4.

[12] Mattingly 1955, 18.

[13] F. Braudel, A History of Civilizations, New York 1995, 309.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Braudel 1995, 309, 312.

[16] AOM1449 f.120r, 2 July 1682. Grand Master Frà Gregorio Carafa to his ambassador: Humilmente supplicano la Santità Vostra dichiarare non fuisse nec esse suo intentionij di comprendere li detti ordini atteso che detti privileggi li sono stati concessi Titulo Oneroso cioe per consumare non solo liloro beni, ma anco spargere it sangue in difesa della Rep(ubblica) Christiana militando contra Turcas come lo ferma la Rota nella Decis(ion)e 72 n(umer)o 6.

[17] A0M1449 f.120r, 2 July 1682: 'e benche col non obbligare espressam(en)te I'ordine n(ost)ro, questo non vien rempreso nelle cose odiose, come sono simili imposit(io)ne, in conformità di molti privileggi, che habb(iom)o, e special(men)te secondo la bolla di Pio 4°.

[18] AOM1449 f.120r, 2July 1682: 'come si fece in varie occas(io)ni especialm(en)te quando fu concessa una imposit(io)ne al Re di Polonia p(er) la guerra che haves[se] col Turco.'

[19] AOM1449 f.120r, 2 July 1682: 'che le rendite della n(ost)ra Relig(io)ne sono destinate p(er) il p(rimari)o serv(izi)o della Christianità e particolarm(en)te p(er) difenderla dalla potenza Ottomana, e p(er) I'essercizio dell'Hospitalita.

[20] AOM1297 f.94r, 25 July 1682. The ambassador Frà Marcello Sacchetti to his Grand Master. 'atteso che la Principessa per non andar a Marito fuor di stato non deve portasi altra dote, che la sperara del Regno, del quale è stata giurata herede'.

[21] AOM1297 f.94v, 25 July 1682.

[22] A. Boudinhon, 'Immunity', The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York 1910, Vol.7, www.newadvent.org/cathen/07690a.htm [20 March 2011].

[23] Ibid.

[24] AOM1297 f.94v, 25 July 1682.

[25] AOM1297 f.123v, 29 August 1682: 'mi dispiacerebbe grande che il detto Breve fosse stato concesso, perche essendo stato mandato cola', poca speranza vi vedo di far escludere La Re(ligione) dal pagamento quando vi fosse stato inclusa.'

[26] AOM1297 f.12v', 5 September 1682: 'il Sig(nor) Card(inale) gli rispose che mesi sono fu concessa una proroga di altri cinque Anni p(er) un Breve di 500 m(ila) cruciati, ma che quando poi fu' cola' p(er) imposti sopra Ii detti beni insorsero tali difficolto the fu permutato, e messo qualche gravezza sopra le robbe commestibili'.

[27] AOM1297 f.137v, 10 October 1682.

[28] AOM1297 f.140v, 10 October 1682.

[29] Ibid: 'Humilmente supplicano la Sant(ità) Vostro dichiarare non fuisse nec esse suo intentionij di comprendere li detti ordini atteso che detti privileggi li sono stati concessi Titulo Oneroso cioe per consumare non solo li loro beni, ma anco spargere il sangue in difesa della Rep(ubblica) Christiana militando contra Turcas come lo ferma la Rota nella Decis(ion)e 72 n(umer)o 6.'

[30] AOM1297 f.152r, 31st October 1682. 'che egli non havevo mai inteso di comprendere in ditto breve li beni della Religione et la incaricava di far noti questi sentimenti a quell Principe.

[31] AOM1297 f.152v. 31st October 1682. For copy of letter see AOM1297 f.154r.

[32] AOM1297 f.191r. 26 December 1682: 'atteso che le copie delle lettere di quella segreteria si concedono con quache repugnanza.

[33] T. Munck, Seventeenth-century Europe. State, Conflict and the Social Order in Europe, 1598-1700, London 2005, 392.

[34] Braudel 1995, 73.

[35] AOM1298 f.136v, 16 October 1683: 'per li presenti bisogni.

[36] AOM1298 f.136r, 16 October 1683: 'militares, Hospitalia, et Commendas'.

[37] AOM1298 f.136rv, 16 October 1683: 'Alche io ho risposto tanto p(er) li passato come fo hoggi, che ad effetto che la Rel(igione) sia compresa, e li beni dell'Ordine indigent speciali declaratione cum derogotoria derogatoriarum, soggiungendogli, che debbo con ogni riverenzo far roppresantore quanta di sopro all'E(minete) Nunzio Bonvisi, pregandolo che vogila soprasedere nella resoccione delli detti carichi fin che ne habbia la risposta da Roma'.

[38] AOM1298 f.136v, 16 October 1683: 'Et io non vorrei mettere in dubbio una cosa che p(er) altro mi dicono questi ministri, esser chiaro.'

[39] AOM1298 f.136v, 16 October 1683.

[40] AOM1298 f.142r, 6 November 1683: 'non essendovi la Rel(igione) ne esclusa ne nominata questo bastava per I'indemnito della med(esima) ad effetto the non fosse compresa nella sud(detta) distributione.'

[41] AOM1298 f.142r, 6 November 1683: 'non essendovi la Rel(igione) ne esclusa ne nominata questo bastava per I'indemnito della med(esima) ad effetto the non fosse compresa nella sud(detta) distributione.'

[42] AOM1298 f.142r, 6 November 1683: 'che aveva inteso di non aggravar la Re(ligione) se questo non era stata aggravate dalli suoi antecessori in casi srmili, e che pero in quest' ultimo concessione fatta all'lmp(erotore) si ero servito dell'istesse parole delle quail si e'a prevaluto la S(acra) M(emoria)di Alessandro VII l’anno 1664'.

[43] AOM1298 f.142v, 6 November 1683: 'Tutto questo non ostante mireplico it sud(detto) V(enerabble)P(riore) con altra lettera, che l'E(minente) Nuntio Bonvisi aveva scritto a Mon(signor) Arcivescovo di Praga, che procurasse di trovore uno somma o da Mercanti o da altro di 50m(ila) tollari per soccorrer prontamente l'Imp(eratore) che susseguentement gl'averebbe mand(ato] la dichiarotione del Breve, nella quale vi erono compresi tutti li privilegiati or nominatim li PP Giesuiti, e li Caval(ieri) Gierosalemitani.'

[44] AOM1298 f.142', 6 November 1683: 'che la Rel(igione] non vi era ne compresa, ne eccettuata, e che tanto doveva bastarci per essere essenti dal pagamento in virtu delli nostri privilegi, concludendomi che it V(enerable) P(riore) non doveva permettere, che si pagarse in quel Priorato se prima l'E(minente] nunzio non faceva constare la publicatione del detto Breve in stamps o in altro che la Rel(igione] vi fosse nominata et io diedi notitia.

[45] AOM1298 f.142", 6 November 1683: 'quale avendola ben considerata non vi trovai mai che vi fosse nominata la Rel(igione], benche vi fossero li termini di Commendas, of quascumq Religiones et Militares'.

[46] AOM1298 f.142v, 6 November 1683: 'sapere sopra di cio la menre di Sua Santita'.

[47] AOM1298 1.142v, 6 November 1683: 'e scrivire al Nuntio che nor aveva inteso di comprenderci la Rel(igione), conforme S(ua) S(a)nt(it)a me ne oveva data intentione quando gliene parlai nella sud(detta) audienza.'

[48] AOM1298 f.143r, 6 November 1683: 143r 'Essendo poi ieri andato dal S(ignor) Card(inale) Cibo per la causa che V(ostra) E(minenza) vedera' da un alma mia scrittura, mi disse che egli per parte del Papa aveva scritto all’E(minente) Nuntio che la mente del Papa era, che la Rel(igione) non fosse compresa in questa impositione avendogli io qui rrese umilissime gratie, gli feci instanza di darmi una copia della sud(detta] lettera et egli me la promise benigamente. Io ho mandato a pigliarla alla segretaria di Stato, e se l'avero' in tempo. ne mandaro' copia qui annessa all’E(mminenza) V(ostra), la quale potra farla registrare in cotesta Cancelleria potendo molto servire in simili casi, e per essempio a gl'altri Pontefici li quali vederanno che in questo congiontura, nella quali il Papa ha dato tanti aiuti di somma considerabilissima di denaro all’lmp(eratore) e nella quale vi Sono concorsi quasi tutti, habbia voluto con una dichiaratione espresso escluderne la Rel(igione). Di qua prendo motivo di congratularmi can l'E(mmineza) V(ostra) gia' che con questo pare, che la Rel(igione] si messa a coperto per ogni tempo'.

[49] AOM 1299 f.33v, 19 February 1684: 'Godo somm(amen)te che l'E(minenza) V[ostra) sia restate sodisfatta del mio operato nella dichiarat(ion)e fatta da N(ostro) S(antita)’.

[50] S. Kettering, 'Brokerage at the Court of Louis xiv', The Historical Journal, xxxvi, 1 1993, 69-87.