DREA SPINOLA

The son of Christopher Spinola, of the family branch of St. Luke and Giulia Pallavicini, Andrea Spinolawas born in Genoa in 1562.

He married the magnificent Cecilia Spinola of Gerolamo who gave him eleven children, four males and seven females, of which three became nuns. Of the sons, Gerolamo became the grandfather of the future DogeNicolò (1740) and Carlo became Prince of Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi, an area near Avellino.

Andrea Spinola spent his youth learning to use weapons and was involved in the Acquisitions for St. George. He was occupied for a long time in the Bank of San Giorgio, and after the age of 40 dedicated himself to the service of the Republic. In 1609-1610 he was elected to the Office of the Censors, where he was assigned to the control of the provisions. During the same period, he was Father of the Municipality and was appointed Colonel of the militias in Sestri Ponente, in the Valli Polcevera and Bisagno.

In 1611 he became SindacatoreGiurisdicenti (syndicate of lawyers) in the Riviera di Levante. Back in Genoa, he was appointed an Extraordinary Magistrateuntil 1613, when he became Senator and Governor of the Republic. In 1615 he was once again an Extraordinary Magistrate. Two years later he was given the role of the Commissioner of Sarzana, and two years after that, Mayor of the Oltrogiogo. From 1619 onwards he held a number of roles. In chronological order, these included the Magistrates of Mercy, the Magistrates of the Exchange, the Magistrates of the Annona, as well as Procurator of the Republic, Magistrate of War, and finally Senator and Governor.

He became Doge on June 26, 1629, the fiftieth in two-year successions and the eighth in the history of the Republic, following the management of John Luca Chiavari. Andrea Spinola’s term of office ended on 26 June 1631 and he was succeeded by Leonardo Della Torre.

The famous Savonian literary GabrielloChiabrera composed a speech for his election to Doge. His biennium was marked by two historic events. The first was the bubonic plague of 1630, which ultimately killed over 1 million people, representing 25% of the Italian population of the time. The  events were graphically described in Allesandro’s Manzoni’s 1840 novel ‘I PromessiSpossi’ (The Betrothed). The second was the arrival in Genoa of the Queen of Hungary, the Infant Mary of Spain. Both situations were handled well by Andrea Spinola. He managed to keep the terrible plague out of Liguria, thanks to careful and timely measures, and he welcomed the noblewoman in style.

(The fresco of the Carlone brothers depicts Cardinal Gio Domenico Spinola, who received the Infant Mary of Spain in Ventimiglia on June 25, 1630, in the Palazzo of the same name. See: www.spinola.it/work/palazzo-di-gio-domenico-spinola)

When his time as Doge was finished, he was declared Perpetual Prosecutor and continued to be occupied in State affairs. He died in 1641 and was buried in the Church of San Francesco di Castelletto in the Chapel of the Nativity. The chapel had already been restored at his expense, including a mausoleum prepared with a commemorative epigraph of himself and his wife.