(May 17, 1809)

The Annexation of the Papal States


The document shown is the original translation made by the papal authorities and handed to the Pope so that he could read the decree in his own language.


     Other communications and official letters issued by the Vatican were kept in a separate file in the archives of the prefect of the Papal Archives.  

     The Pope steadfastly refused to join with the French in the war against England. Evidently to verify this, the archive of originals was released to Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford, who later deposited it into the archives of Sir Thomas Phillipps as ms. #7583. The archive is now preserved at the Karpeles Manuscript Library.

     It is clear that the papal authorities would have prepared copies for their own files.

     In 1808, Rome was occupied by French troops.

On May 17, 1809, Napoleon declared the Papal States to be annexed to France. 

On June 10th, the Papal flag was taken down, and, as a result, Pius VII excommuni-cated Napoleon. 

On July 5-6, the Pope was arrested by Napoleon's forces and

take to Fontainbleau where he was incarcerated for five years.