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198 C h a p t e r 6 Florence II Another Attempted Murder The latest murder case against Rodrigo Alidosi could scarcely have ended before Annibale Della Vigna, “ministro del S. Officio,” its notary, was attacked in April 1610, and yet another set of processi began. They posed much more danger to Alidosi than his first trial, since after his abjuration he stood to be condemned as a relapsus, which would have meant a death sentence. For some reason, this possibility never arose. The news of the assault on Della Vigna reached Rome in the form of letters from the commissioner of Castel del Rio and Alidosi himself of 16 and 17 April.1 The assailants were Alidosi’s nephew Gianfranceso Albizzi da Montefalco (Villa Montefalco; see below)2 and Domenico Brigo, usually called just Brigo, from Casal Fiumanese, the next comune north of Castel del Rio, both of them banned from the papal states, along with Antonio Manbieni.3 For some reason Andrea Mazzoni waited to send the horrifying news to Serafino Montini, inquisitor of Faenza, until the 23rd.4 Thus began an investigation and trial that lasted for two years.5 Before anything could be done, Rome needed to know whether the alleged assault had taken place, and on 1 May Secretary Gian Garzia Millini ordered Montini to investigate.6 On 19 April the curate of Carseggio, Alidosi’s old enemy Bartolomeo Vanti, sent the news to Rome that Della Vigna had been shot three times. When his letter was read on 4 May, Montini, now together with Millini ’s episcopal vicar general, was ordered to collect information.7 Acting faster than usual, Millini wrote up the order the next day, a Wednesday, emphasizing that the Congregation needed to know the motive behind the wounding.8 In the coram the next day, the pope further ordered Montini and Millini’s vicar to have the attackers brought to Imola if they were in prison.9 Montini moved Florence II 199 rather slowly, his letters of 15 and 16 May apparently containing little information , leading Millini to urge him on in his reply of 29 May.10 On Montini’s letter of 3 June with some unidentified information, he was ordered secretly to examine Della Vigna and other witnesses, Millini adding in his letter that these were not to include Alidosi’s defense witnesses.11 By 17 June Manbieni had been captured and interrogated, but progress otherwise was slow.12 Finally on 25 July, just after Alidosi made a flying visit to Castel del Rio, Della Vigna testified as well as handing in written evidence. According to him, Alidosi had vowed revenge through Giovanni Squarcioni or Squarzoni, and was trying to get Della Vigna and Mazzoni to Florence. “Bambano,” apparently Manbieni, whose name also comes out something like Dimambino, had returned thence and talked secretly to the two would-be assassins and G. B. di Miano, probably a variant of Manbieni’s name. The first two had been back to Castel del Rio twice since they had wounded Della Vigna. Alidosi himself had appeared on 22 July, calling himself “the most desperate man in the world” (“il più disperato uomo del mondo”) because he feared being summoned by the Inquisition over the attack. He had begged Della Vigna to write Rome together with Mazzoni that he was innocent.13 Squarcioni, “summoned with a precept,” testified on 30 July that Brigo had told him that he had been asked to attack Della Vigna, but did not say by whom.14 The Congregation considered Della Vigna’s evidence, along with more from Mazzoni and Andrea Tedeschi, on 4 August, but took no action.15 (By then, Tedeschi found himself in trouble, a case probably for false witness having been expedited with an unknown result the previous October. The matter cannot have been taken seriously, since Tedeschi also asked for and received compensation—with interest (!)—from one of the Alidosi conspirators on 8 July 1610.)16 In the next day’s coram, Paul V ordered Squarcioni, living at Imola, to be asked from which papal territories “Bigi” and Albizzi had been exiled. Those two were to be captured when they came to Florence and sent to Castel del Rio.17 Paul’s order was superseded by another to the legate of Bologna on 24 August to capture Brigo.18 Two weeks later the legate said he was trying.19 He did not have much luck. Instead, Mazzoni reported to Montini...


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