Thomas Philip Wallrad de Hénin-Liétard d'Alsace

Thomas Philip Wallrad de Hénin-Liétard d'Alsace named Cardinal d'Alsace[2] (Brussels, 12 November 1679 – 5 January 1759), was a Cardinal and Archbishop of Mechelen, Belgium. He participated in 4 conclaves; during the conclave of 1758, in which he did not participate, he was Cardinal Proto-Priest.

His Eminence

Thomas de Hénin-Liétard
Cardinal d'Alsace
Cardinal, Archbishop of Mechelen
Primate of the Low Countries
Thomas de Hénin-Liétard d'Alsace-Boussut.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic
In office1715–1759
PredecessorHumbertus Guilielmus de Precipiano
SuccessorJoannes-Henricus de Franckenberg
Other postsCardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina[1]
by Giorgio Cardinal Spínola
Created cardinal1719
RankCardinal Priest
Personal details
Born12 November 1679
Died5 January 1759
BuriedMechelen Cathedral
MottoEstote Miserecordes
Tomb in Mechelen Cathedral


His father, Philippe-Louis de Hénin, 7th Count of Bossu was Knight of the Golden Fleece. He was the 11th Prince of Chimay: his family belongs to the family of Hénin-Liétard,[3][4] His grandmother was a Princess of Arenberg and Chimay, she was a granddaughter of Charles de Ligne, 2nd Prince of Arenberg. Louis-François Verreycken, 1st Baron of Bonlez was his great-grandfather.

The brother of the Cardinal was married to Charlotte de Rouvroy, daughter of the Duke of Saint-Simon, who mentioned the Cardinal in his writings.[5] One of his nephews Charles-Alexandre de Hénin-Liétard d'Alsace, Count of Beaumont dies in 1794 in Paris by guillotine.


In 1696 he was a noble Canon of the Chapter of Ghent. He completed his studies in Cologne and was ordained as a priest on 15 October 1702, in Rome. He was created in 1712 a papal prelate of honour of Clement XI. In 1714 he was approved by emperor Charles VI as Bishop of Mechelen, his appointed of Archbishop took place on 16 December 1715. In 1716 he was ordained in Vienna by the Apostolic Nuncio to Austria: Mgr. Giorgio Cardinal Spínola. On 29 Nov 1719, age 40, he was named Cardinal, after his support in favor of the Bull of Unigenitus. Cardinal d'Alcase was the first cardinal taking residence in Mechelen, since Cardinal de Granvelle died. He went to Rome to receive the biretta, by hands of the pope himself. The people of Mechelen rejoiced to have again a cardinal, and he was very loved by them. During the episcopate of Cardinal d'Alcase he constructed several important buildings: he had the episcopal palace rebuilt and a new diocesan seminary constructed in Mechelen.[6]

In 1747 he pleaded with King Louis XV who entered Brussels to have mercy on the poor inhabitants of Brussels. The king requested a Te Deum in honour of the victory, but the Cardinal replied: "Only the blood of Christ flows on the altar!"[7]

After the anti-government disturbances, the Great Council produced a high number of death penalties, the cardinal begged the emperor for mercy in 1720. This request was honoured by the Emperor.[8]

Upon the death of Cardinal Ruffo on 18 February 1753, Cardinal d'Alsace became the last surviving Cardinal created by Pope Clement XI.


He consecrated Bishop during his career.


He participated in the 1721 conclave. In 1738 he sent his private library of 9000 books to the collection of the diocese and chapter of St Rumbold.[9] This collection was recognised as Flemish heritage last year and was conserved by the support of the Fund Baillet Latour.[10] He left an important gold embroidered pontifical ornement that he brought from Rome, and was restored by Henri Van Severen.

He was buried inside the cathedral and succeeded by Cardinal Joannes-Henricus de Franckenberg.



  1. ^
  2. ^ Le cardinal Thomas-Philippe d'Alsace, archevêque de Malines et le Saint-Siège: correspondance tirée des Archives du Vatican, 1703-1759
  3. ^ see also Jean-François-Gabriel de Hénin-Liétard
  4. ^ Nationaal Biografisch Woordenboek
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Lionel Chénedé 15 mai 2015 Thomas-Philippe-Louis de Hénin-Liétard d’Alsace-Boussu de Chimay appelé le cardinal d’Alsace (1679–1759)
  8. ^ Noord en Zuid: Maendschrift voor Kunsten, letteren en wetenschappen, Volume 2
  9. ^
  10. ^


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Humbertus Guilielmus de Precipiano
9th Archbishop of Mechelen
Succeeded by
Joannes-Henricus de Franckenberg