documento del mese gaspare vimercati

Gaspare Vimercati: at the service of the Sforza family and Santa Maria delle Grazie

Document of the Month of Aprile 2014

Gaspare Vimercati, Count of Valenza, was always a man of the government and, under Filippo Maria Visconti, he joined the Duke's council. In the Ambrosian Republic he was elected as one of the 24 Defenders of Liberty and in the end he strenuously advocated entrusting the government to Francesco Sforza, later becoming his trusted aid on financial matters. He worked for the Sforza family both as a diplomat and as a soldier. In 1463 he was involved in the negotiations for the marriage between Galeazzo Maria and Dorotea Gonzaga.

In 1464 he was sent to Genoa to try to gain possession of the city with the support of the local nobles. In 1465 he joined Galeazzo in the military campaign against the Duke of Burgundy. The Duke gave him land around Porta Vercellina as winter quarters for his soldiers and Gaspare also partly accepted them on behalf of the Monastery of Sant’Ambrogio. Some of this land was later donated to the Dominican friars for the building of the church and convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

On 12 July 1465 he had his will drawn up, a copy of which is preserved in the Archives of the Fabbrica. In addition to various bequests to family members, he ordered that his house in San Lorenzo in Torrigio should never be sold and that, should his heirs in any case decide to do so, its ownership should be transferred to the Ospedale Maggiore. Moreover, if the hospital too decided to sell it, ownership of the house should be transferred to the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo. In 1467 he took part in the Battle of Molinella, but fell ill and was taken to Novara where he died.