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Riario Sforza, Alessandro Cardinal (1543-1585)



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Italian cardinal; papal diplomat and important member of the Roman Curia.

Letter Signed, 16 June 1583, one page, as papal legate in Perugia. Written to the Gonfalonieri of Todi. Summary: Cardinal Riario sends a document to the Gonfalonieri in the name of Giovanni Augustino who has been imprisoned in order that the Gonfalonieri be aware of all of the details of the situation and, thus, may render a judgement that is just and brings to light the truth of the matter. He also mentions the Compagnia della Misericordia having just written to him. Signed A(lessandro) Leg(atus). Generalized toning. The reverse features a near perfect blind embossed-wax paper seal.

Alessandro was the son of patricians Palantine Count Giulio Riario and Isabella Pepoli. He was related by marriage to Pope Gregory XIII. He was educated at the University of Padua and then at the University of Bologna, becoming a doctor of both laws on May 11, 1563Went on to serve as protonotary apostolic; referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and Grace; secretary apostolic; auditor general of the Apostolic Chamber. Elected Titular Patriarch of Alexandria (1570). Accompanied Cardinal Michele Bonelli in his legation to Spain, Portugal and France (1571) to encourage their sovereigns into a league against the Turks. Created a cardinal in 1578. Together with Cardinal Francesco Crasso and other prelates, Riario was charged with the reformation of the offices of the Roman Curia and the implementation of reforms. Later he served as Legate before King Felipe II of Spain and Portugal. Other offices held: Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature of Justice; legate a latere in Portugal (1581). Legate a latere in Perugia and Umbria. Participated in the conclave of 1585 that elected Pope Sixtus V.

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