Ercole Consalvi

1757-1824. Italian statesman. Born in Rome of a noble family, he entered papal service early. After the French invasion of the Papal States (1798) following General Duphot's murder, he was imprisoned and later exiled. Gaining his freedom, he worked for the election of Cardinal Chiarmonti as Pope Pius VII, who made him secretary of state. He was chiefly responsible for the Concordat of 1801* with Napoleon. When Napoleon seized Rome in 1809, Consalvi was compelled to go to Paris, becoming leader of the “black cardinals” until forcibly retired to Rheims. Following Napoleon's abdication, he was reappointed secretary and represented the pope at the Congress of Vienna (1815), where he secured the restoration of the Papal States. He spent his remaining years reorganizing them.