Lercari, Nicolas Marie

Lercari, Nicolas Marie an Italian cardinal, was born at Tabia, Genoa, November 19, 1675. He filled various offices at the pontifical court, and afterwards became successively governor of Lodi, of Benevento, of Camerino, of Ancona, of Civita Vecchia, and of Perugia. Being called to Rome in 1724 by Benedict XIII, with whom he had allied himself at Benevento, he was consecrated archbishop in partibus, and two years later appointed prime-minister. The foreign ambassadors refusing to treat with him, under the pretext that his position was not sufficiently honorable, he was made cardinal in December, 1726. In his position as secretary of state he showed himself an able negotiator, and several times thwarted the purposes of the imperial court. In 1730, on the death of Benedict XIII, he was despoiled of his honors, and arraigned before a congregation of cardinals to give an account of his administration. His integrity was established, but his influence was gone. He died March 20, 1757. See Hoefer, Nouv Biog. Generale, s.v.

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