Response of the Holy See to the Cardinal Duke of York, January 14, 1766

Immediately after the death of King James III and VIII, January 1, 1766, his younger son the Cardinal Duke of York (later King Henry IX and I) presented to Pope Clement XIII a memorial on "The Indispensable Necessity for the Holy See to Recognise the House of Stuart as the Only True and Legitimate Successors of the Kingdom of England". The Pope, having sought the advice of the cardinals, determined that he would not publicly recognise Henry's elder brother Charles III as King of England until such recognition was also forthcoming from either France or Spain. The following letter was sent by Cardinal Torreggiani, the Secretary of State, to communicate the Pope's decision to the Cardinal Duke of York.

A printed version of the Italian text can be found on page 391 of volume 22 of The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960). The English translation is my own.

Dalle Stanze del Quirinale, 14 Gennaro, 1766 From the Rooms of the Quirinale [Palace], January 14, 1766
Avendo presa Nostro Signore nella piu matura considerazione la memoria di che Vostr' Altezza Reale Eminentissima Gli fece presentare dal Signore Cardinale Gio[vanni] Francesco Albani, accompagnata colla sua lettera del 2 corrente, e avendo anche sentito il parere di una particolare congregazione di molti Signori Cardinali, prova il dispiacere di non potere per ora condiscendere a quel tanto, che nella medesima memoria si domanda, ed'ha ingiunto al Cardinale Segretario di Stato, che ne rechi all' Altezza Vostra Reale quest' ossequioso riscontro. Adempie adunque l'istesso Cardinale il Pontificie comando, e pieno di rispetto Le bacia umilissimamente le mani. Having taken into the most mature consideration the memorial which Your Most Eminent Royal Highness presented to the Lord Cardinal Giovanni Francisco Albani, accompanied by your letter of the 2nd [of January], and having also sought the opinion of a particular congregation of many of the Lords Cardinals, Our Lord [the Pope] is regretfully unable for the present to agree to that which you ask in the same memorial and has enjoined upon the Cardinal Secretary of State that he communicate this obedient response to Your Royal Highness. So then having executed the pontifical command, the same Cardinal full of respect most humbly kisses your hands.

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