Alessandro Torlonia: The Pope’s Banker by Daniela Felisini

By Daniela Felisini

This ebook offers a brilliant biography of a towering Italian banker, pioneer and entrepreneur. It weaves the entrepreneurial ventures of Alessandro Torlonia (1800-1886) in the course of the narratives of industrial and politics within the 19th century, the expansion of ecu monetary markets and the decline of Papal energy in the course of the Italian Risorgimento. The dialogue is based in rigorous historic learn utilizing unique resources corresponding to the Archivum Secretum Vaticanum papers and different professional records; the files of the Torlonia kinfolk, and of the Rothschild financial institution in Paris; memoirs; correspondences, and newspapers. via this booklet readers examine that Alessandro Torlonia used to be a guy of many faces, who was once probably the most complicated and influential characters of Italian monetary existence within the 19th century. Felisini additionally presents a professional critique of the monetary historical past of the papacy: a space of heightened curiosity given the notoriety of family among the Holy See and its bankers within the 20th and twenty-first centuries. Focal subject matters comparable to the background of ecu elites and the heritage of ecu monetary markets could have an interdisciplinary allure for students and researchers.

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Madame Mère, registered in the ledgers as Letizia Ramolino, had a current account with the Bank for more than twenty years, from 1814 until 1836; reports of the period implied that she in turn used her funds to make loans to those French who were passing through Rome. In the winter of 1808 Luciano Bonaparte, appointed Prince of Canino by the Pope, signed several promissory notes guaranteed by the Bank for 13 million scudi.  After the Restoration there were also records of transactions with the profligate Prince Jérôme Bonaparte, the former King of Westphalia, with whom Giovanni’s first son Marino Torlonia concluded property transactions in later years.

265, fasc. 17 and fasc. 2.  See Candeloro, Le origini del Risorgimento, 132–33. 23 Documents in ACS, Archivio Torlonia, b. 265, fasc. 6 and b. 266, fasc. 3. “Provvisioniere dei Sacri Palazzi” referred to ensuring the material needs of the papal buildings were met, but by the early nineteenth century had become an honorary title. 20 24 Alessandro Torlonia: The Pope’s Banker rank of the Roman nobility. 26 In the same year he also bought Villa Ferroni,27 next to Villa Doria Pamphili and not far from Porta San Pancrazio, for a recorded price of 8,000 scudi.

Comuni, b. 2359. On this, see Delumeau, L’alun de Rome 15–19e siècle. 8 The Reverenda Camera Apostolica (Apostolic Camera) had for many centuries been the body responsible for the financial, administrative and judicial rule of the Papal States. During the nineteenth century it became less powerful; its responsibilities started to be reduced and taken up by bodies that were more like modern ministries. See Felici, La Reverenda Camera Apostolica. 6 20 Alessandro Torlonia: The Pope’s Banker the ­operating methods, with the dual objective of avoiding damage to the deposits and maintaining the quality and price of the alum.

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