Roman Catholic Pope. Born Giovanni Francesco Albani in Urbino, Italy in 1649, he was a member of the noble Umbrian family. In 1690, he was ordained a cardinal. After the death of Pope Innocent XII, Cardinal Albani was elected pope on November 23, 1700 and took the name of Clement XI. He was immediately caught between France and Austria in the succession to the Spanish crown (King Charles II had died childless). He wanted to remain neutral, but it was impossible. Originally, he supported the French Philip V (who Charles II had named as his heir) which angered the Austrian Emperor Leopold, who wanted his son, Charles, to be the new Spanish king. When Austrian troops marched south into Italy, Clement was forced to acknowledge the Archduke Charles of Austria as the King of Spain. Despite the fact they did nothing to help the pope, the French king became very indignant and retaliated by every means in his power. In the government of the Church, Clement was a capable administrator. He was more famously known for ending the policy of nepotism, which he strongly opposed.
Bio by: Frank McGady