Skip to main content

Macnutt, Francis Augustus


Papal courtier, author; b. Richmond, Ind., February 15, 1863; d. Bressanone, Italy, December 30, 1927. He was the son of Joseph and Laetitia Jane (Scott) MacNutt, well-to-do Episcopalians. MacNutt attended Philips Academy, Exeter, N.H. (187880), and Harvard University Law School (188081), spending also many months in foreign travel and the study of languages. He was received into the Catholic Church in Rome on March 22, 1883, and first began ecclesiastical training as an associate of the "Priests of Expiation," an abortive religious society projected by Rev. Kenelm Vaughan of England. While a student (188789) of the Pontifical Academy of Noble Ecclesiastics, Rome, he concluded that he was not called to the priesthood and secured appointments as first secretary of the U.S. legations at Constantinople (189092) and Madrid (189293). In 1898 he married Margaret van Cortlandt Ogden of New York and took up residence in Rome. Leo XIII, who in 1895 had made MacNutt an honorary papal chamberlain "of cape and sword," assigned him to active service in the papal court. He was the first American to hold such a post. In 1904 Pius X named him one of four ranking chamberlains. However, since he had become the object of a defamatory campaign in certain lay circles, MacNutt decided to resign his Vatican post in 1905. He succeeded in vindicating his good name, but declined invitations to reassume his court functions. Settling in Schloss Ratzötz, his Tyrolese home near Bressanone, he spent the rest of his life in social activities and writing. Of his seven books, the most important were: Letters of Cortes (1908); De orbe novo, The Eight Decades d'Anghera (1912); and Bartholomew de las Casas (1909). His posthumously published memoirs, A Papal Chamberlain (1936), are the recollections of a U.S. expatriate who found himself at home in the courtly society of a bygone era.

[r. f. mcnamara]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Macnutt, Francis Augustus." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 20 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Macnutt, Francis Augustus." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (March 20, 2019).

"Macnutt, Francis Augustus." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.