(LEO XII) (1760-1829)
Born Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiorre Girolamo Nicola Sermattei della Genga. Prior to the papacy, Della Genga was a papal diplomat and apostolic nuncio serving in Switzerland and Germany.
He was in ill health from the time of his election to the papacy to his death less than six years later, although he was noted for enduring pain well. He was a deeply conservative ruler, who enforced many controversial laws, including one forbidding Jews to own property. Papal finances were also poor, even though he reduced taxes. As a result, Leo XII’s reign was unpopular and provoked widespread discontent within the Papal States.
Papal breve dated 1828 and addressed to the Archbishop of Rouen, the future Cardinal Gustave Maximilien Juste de Croÿ-Solre. Signed on behalf of the pope by Cardinal Bartolomeo Pacca as Secretary of Apostolic Briefs (went on to become Papal Secretary of State). Appears to be some form of matrimonial dispensation allowing related royals to marry).
Reverse bears whimsical child’s mathematics lesson in pencil. This breve was acquired from the auction house of G. Charavay, Paris, September 1923.