Albani,Giovanni Francesco

Albani,Giovanni Francesco an Italian prelate, nephew of Alessandro, was born at Rome in 1720. Endowed with a pleasing countenance. and sought for on account of his genius and learning, he spent his early years in pleasure, and neglected the affairs pertaining to his calling. He, however, continued to have considerable influence owing to the Jesuits, who since the bull Unigentus considered him as obligated to the brotherhood. He was advanced to the purple, soon after he entered the priesthood, in 1747, and not long after was appointed archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and bishop of Porto. In 1767 Albani took an active part in behalf of the Jesuits. In 1775 he was appointed bishop of Ostia and Velletri, and consequently dean of the sacred college; and in 1779 succeeded his uncle Alessandro in almost all the charges which that prelate had possessed. He was appointed plenipotentiary of Austria, protector of Poland, and head of the Order of Malta, of the republic of Ragusa, and of the College of La Sapienza at Rome. He became an ardent patron of literature; increased the library of his uncle from 25,000 to 30,000 volumes; and in 1793 his villa was computed to contain about 200,000 works of art and specimens of antiquities. When the French took possession of Rome, they confiscated his estates, and sacked and plundered his palace and villa. The cardinal took refuge in a Carmaldolese convent on the southern frontier; then went to Naples, and to Messina. In 1800 he was present at Venice at the election of pope, Pius VIL Returning to Rome, he died there in 1803. See Athoeneum, vol. 3; Duppa, Subversion of the Papal Government, p. 131; Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

 
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