Vestments of the Cardinal Duke of York: Henry Benedict Stuart

Continuing on with our consideration of some unique vestments, today I wished to show you two chasubles of the Cardinal Duke of York, Henry Benedict Stuart -- one of the Jacobite heirs. Due to the politics of the time, Henry was born in exile (in Rome) and lived his life within the papal states. He was baptized by Pope Benedict XIII and received his red hat at the youthful age of 23.
In June 1747 Pope Benedict XIV announced his intention to enroll Henry in the Sacred College of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. On June 30 Henry received the tonsure - the formal shaving of the scalp which precedes ordination and marks entrance into the clerical state. On July 3 he was formally created Cardinal-Deacon, receiving on July 9 the diaconal title of Santa Maria in Portico (sometimes called in Campitelli). Henceforward he used the title "Cardinal Duke of York".

Henry received from the pope himself ordination to the four minor orders, the sub-diaconate, and the diaconate, on August 27, 1747, August 18, 1748, and August 25, 1748 respectively. He was ordained priest by the pope, September 1, 1748. Subsequently he received many ecclesiastical offices. In 1751 he was made Arch-Priest of the Vatican Basilica. On December 18, 1752, he was raised to the rank of Cardinal-Priest with the title of Santi XII Apostoli. On March 13, 1758, he was named Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church; as such Henry was responsible for the administration of the Church from the death of Pope Benedict XIV until the election of Pope Clement XIII.

On October 2, 1758, Pope Clement XIII named Henry, Archbishop of Corinth in partibus infidelium, and on November 19, the pope ordained him bishop in the Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli. On February 12, 1759, Henry changed his cardinalatial title to that of Santa Maria in Trastevere. Henry was named Cardinal-Bishop with the title of Frascati, July 13, 1761. On January 24, 1763, he was named Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, an office he held until his death. (Source)
The two precious vestments I wish to show you today are housed in Italy in the seminary of the diocese of Frascati.  You will note that, as is traditional with this period of vestments, the Cardinal Duke's arms are found on the base of the back of the chasuble.


The Cardinal Duke of York, Henry Benedict Stuart
Photo credits: Noel S. McFerran

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