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His Eminence 
Giulio Maria della Somaglia
See Antioch
Enthroned 1 June 1795
Ordination 1787
Created Cardinal 1 June 1795
Rank Dean of the College of Cardinals
Other Secretary of the Inquisition
Personal details
Born 29 July 1744(1744-07-29)
Piacenza, Italy
Died 2 April 1830 (aged 85)
Styles of
Giulio Maria della Somaglia
CardinalCoA PioM.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Antioch

Giulio Maria della Somaglia (29 July 1744 – 2 April 1830) was an Italian cardinal. He was — at least in his later life — a staunch zelante cardinal who, as Secretary of State under Pope Leo XII, helped enforce an authoritarian regime in the crumbling Papal States.

Born in Piacenza into a noble family, della Somaglia was sent to Rome at the young age of twelve and at the Collegio Nazzareno and La Sapienza University acquired degrees in both canon and civil law. In 1769 he became domestic prelate of Pope Clement XIV and under Pope Pius VI he was secretary to numerous curial congregations between 1773 and 1787. Although he was only ordained to the priesthood in 1787, he became titular Patriarch of Antioch the following year and on 1 June 1795 became a cardinal.

In his years as a cardinal della Somaglia played an important role as a negotiator with the revolutionary regime in France. Although he undoubtedly agreed with Pius VI's 1791 condemnation of the French Revolution and was expelled from Rome when Napoleon's army invaded in 1808, he was charged with the examination of the concordat with France several years later and this role actually served to taint della Somaglia's reputation in the eyes of fellow zelanti cardinals. From 1814 he was Secretary of the Inquisition and Dean of the College of Cardinals in 1820.

In the 1823 conclave, della Somaglia was considered papabile. In 1826 he resigned the post of Secretary of State but continued as Secretary of the Inquisition until his death in 1830. When he died, della Somaglia was the last cardinal still alive elevated by Pius VI.

Episcopal succession

Episcopal Lineage
Consecrated by: Hyacinthe-Sigismond Gerdil
Date of consecration: December 21, 1788
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Fabrizio Cimino February 2, 1798
Annibale Di Leo February 2, 1798
Michele Palmieri February 2, 1798
Filippo Speranza February 2, 1798
Florido Pierleoni September 26, 1802
Giulio Rossi November 4, 1804

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giuseppe Maria Doria Pamphilj
Cardinal-bishop of Frascati
Succeeded by
Bartolomeo Pacca
Preceded by
Alessandro Mattei
Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
Succeeded by
Bartolomeo Pacca
Preceded by
Antonio Dugnani
Cardinal-bishop of Porto
Succeeded by
Michele di Pietro
Preceded by
Ercole Consalvi
Cardinal Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Tommaso Bernetti


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