In 1263, after having tried many times through argumentation and entreaty to persuade Manfred, the holder of the kingdom of Sicily, one of the claimants to the Hohenstaufen inheritance and the Holy Roman Empire, to a more respectful and subordinate behavior, Pope Urban IV (Jacques Pantaléon of Troyes in Champagne) felt compelled to challenge the actions of Manfred in Sicily and southern Italy. In typical Hohenstaufen fashion, Manfred showed no particular respect for the interests of the Holy See or the Church in his domains. His army was composed largely of Muslim Saracens, who lived in colonies in south Italy and Sicily. His influence, in fact, was increasing in the Papal States and even in the Po valley, where he had appointed Uberto Pallavicini as his Captain in Lombardy. After having failed to provide an alternative King of Sicily in the form of Henry III of England or one of his sons, Urban first decided to make war on Manfred, and sent an army under Bishop Guy of Auxerre and Count Robert of Flanders. They were initially successful in Lombardy, but Manfred's forces quickly counterattacked. Finally, Manfred succeeded in capturing Rome itself.
This marked the beginning of long factional strife in Rome, between the Ghibbeline (supporters of Manfred) and the Guelfs. The Pope should have been supported by the Guelfs, but he and the Romans were at odds. The Pope was deeply in debt to Roman bankers, and he feared the consequences should he attempt to enter the city. In response, Urban then entered into negotiations with Charles of Anjou, Comte de Provence, the younger brother of Louis IX of France. During the negotiations, and without the knowledge of the Pope, Charles had himself elected Senator of Rome by his Guelf supporters in the City (August, 1263) (Gregorovius, 349). On August 11, Pope Urban, who was in exile in Orvieto, wrote to the notary Albert in shock, "Intelleximus quod illi boni homines, qui urbem ad praesens regere, ipsius statum reformare dicuntur, dilectum fil(ium) nob(ilem) vir(um) Carolum in senatorem ipsius urbis vel Dominum elegerunt." (Gregorovius, 346, n.3). There was a fear, too, that Charles would be granted the Senatorial dignity for life, which in fact happened. The Ghibellines were expelled from Rome. The Pope was so alarmed at the prospect of Charles being out of control that he sent Cardinal Simon de Brie, the Cardinal of Santa Cecilia, to France to negotiate further with Charles (Gregorovius, 351-352). The Cardinal reached an acceptable accommodation with Charles, who promised to come to Rome in the Spring of 1264, and in the meantime he sent Jacopo Gaucelin as his vicar for the City (He died shortly after being installed, and was succeeded by Jacopo Cantelmi).
A plan of Manfred to force his way to Rome and capture the city did not come to pass, and even an effort to relieve his Ghibbeline supporters in Latium and Tuscany failed. A Ghibelline attack on Rome by Peter of Vico, who was in control of the fortress of Cervetri, was able to enter the city but was stopped by Jacopo Caltelmi and the Provençals, aided by Giovanni Savelli and the Guelfs of the City.
The Pope died in Perugia on October 2, 1264, where he had fled when driven from Orvieto by his enemies. He had reigned, though never from Rome, for three years, one month, and four days. His funeral took place in the Cathedral Church of S. Lorenzo in Perugia. The Chair of Peter was vacant for four months and four days.
Charles entered Rome on May 23, 1265.
.At the time of Pope Urban's death, there were twenty-one cardinals (Heinemann, 176; Panvinio, Epitome 169-170; Cristofori, 39). A letter of the new Pope Clement IV, dated February 26, 1265 [d'Achery, Veterum aliquot scriptorum...spicilegium Tomus Nonus, 213-214] is signed by sixteen of the cardinals, with their cardinalatial titles:
There were therefore eighteen or nineteen electors meeting at Perugia. They met in secret, though not in an enclosed conclave. They were frightened of the possibility of being found and overawed by the Ghibelline forces which had driven Pope Urban from Orvieto. The choice before the Cardinals was between a supporter of Manfred (Ghibelline) or a supporter of Charles of Anjou (an ultramontane).
In the fifteenth-century Chronicle of Girolamo Borselli, OP, of Bologna, the following notation is found (quoted by Mortier, 37 n. 2, from manuscript):
1264. Fr. Johannes de Vercellis cum esset Romae adhuc existens Provincialis Lombardiae tantum prelatis Ecclesiae carus erat quod mortuo Urbano IV multas voces (habuerit) ad papatum. Sed praevaluit in vocibus ille qui postea dictus est Clemens IV, valdue amicus ordinis, ita ut sub aliis vestibus gestaret habitum Fratrum Praedicatorum
This is the famous Giovanni da Vercelli, the sixth Master General of the Dominicans, a position he already held in 1264, despite what Girolamo Borselli says about him being Provincial of Lombardy. Whether Giovanni da Vercelli actually received many (or any) votes during the election of 1264-1265 is uncertain; Dominican sources of the 14th century state that he was also elected pope, in 1283, but that he died before the news could reach him (Mortier, 37, n.2). Unfortunately for the reliability of these chroniclers of the Dominican Order, there was no Conclave in 1283, Pope Martin IV having been elected two years earlier. They are correct, however, that Giovanni da Vercelli died in 1283, on November 23, at Montepulciano, after more than twenty years as Master General.
A later Dominican source, Fra Ambrosio Taegi, OP (16th century), in his Chronicle (citing the earlier Chronicle of Fra Galvanus de la Flamme, OP), preserved in the Archives of the Order (Mortier, 37-38, who provides only his translation of Taegi), writes:
Au temps où le chaire de saint Pierre était devenue vacante par la mort d' Urbain IV, Maitre Jean séjournait à Rome. Il était lié de grand amitié avec le cardinal Uberti, du titre de Sainte-Praxède. Celui-ci désirait à tout prix le faire Pape. Mais, dans le collège des cardinaux, Jean Gaetani s'y opposait de toutes ses forces. Enfin, après bien des tentatives d'accommodements, les deux cardinaux convinrent de son élection. Uberti en etait si joyeux, que, la nuit même où le compromis fut convenu, il envoya son chapelain avertir Maitre Jean. Or un familier du cardinal Gaetani aperçut le chapelain qui sortait du couvent des Frères. Soupçonnent quelque intrigue, il avisa son maître Gaetani, qui esperait que, élu par son influence, le nouveau Pape aurait pour lui des attentions rémuneratrices, craignait de tout perdre en voyant son collège s' approprier à lui seul le succes de l'élection.
Et, dans sa colère, il aurait dit: «Frère Jean ne sera point Pape.» En effet, Guy le Gros fut élu.
But, as Mortier points out, Giovanni da Vercelli was visiting the Province of France in February, 1265, and wasn't in Italy at all. And, it may be added, Uberto de Cocconato was a Cardinal Deacon, not a Cardinal Priest, and his Deaconry was San Eustachio. He died in 1276. The Cardinal Priest of Santa Prassede was Ancherius Pantaleoni, nephew of Pope Urban IV. This story, it seems, cannot be relied on. But Mortier (p. 38), in an effort to save the story, suggests that it belongs later than 1268, after the death of Gregory X. Gregory died at Arezzo on January 10, 1276, and there were three conclaves that year (electing Peter of Tarantaise, OP; then Ottoboni Fieschi; then Peter Julian of Lisbon). But Mortier's suggestion admits that the chronology of Fra Galvanus and Fra Ambrogio Taegi is in error—a third error in the tale. Can one trust any of it?
According to a contemporary Dominican, Bernardus Guidonis (Libellus sue Tractatus Magistrorum Ordinis Praedicatorum, col.409), Giovanni da Vercelli was appointed Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem by Nicholas III in 1278, but he rejected that appointment:
Hic patriarchatum Jerosolymitanum a domino Nicolao papa III. sibi transmissum, accipere recusavit anno Domini MCCLXXVIII.
Bernardus, however, does not go so far as to have him elected pope at any time.
During the Sede Vacante, Cardinal Guy Folques was very busy. Still in France on January 5, 1265, the Vigil of the Epiphany, he was writing to Charles of Anjou [Martene, Thesaurus novus anecdotum II (Paris 1717), column 101], reminding him that the Roman People, who had summoned him to be their ruler, were eager to see his face. He praises Charles' vicar, Jacques Gantelmi (Jacopo Cantelmi), who was working in Rome with a minimum staff and on a shoestring budget.
Illud autem certum est apud multos, quod si regnum oblatum recipitis, Urbs est vestra, per quam est regnum acquirere, et a Romana ecclesia quod vobis expedierit et ipsa dare decreverit obtinere poteritis, et in ipsa Urbe quid etiam vobis placuerit facere.
And he encourages Charles to get to Rome as soon as possible and take advantage of the opportunites offered him there.
Of the Election, Fra Salimbene, OFM, the famous monastic chronicler of Parma, wrote (Cristofori, 39; Salimbene Cronaca, p. 347):
Anno Dom(ini) MCCLXV. Indictione VIII. In festo B(eatae) Agathae, id est VII [sic] februarii electus fuit Do(min(us) Clemens IIII, apud Perusium, et ipse erat in ultramontanis partibus tunc, et erat de collegio Cardinalium, et noluit ire ad accipiendum papatum, nisi prius visitaret ecclesiam B(eati) Farncisci de Assisio.
Panvinio, in the 16th century, carefully wrote (Epitome, 169-170):
absens Perusii omnium Cardinalium suffragiis Pont. Max pronunciatus est, die Nonarum Februarii, legatus porro erat Apostolicae sedis ad componendam pacem inter Reges Angliae et Franciae. Inde Viterbium veniens, Decreto electionis accepto atquae approbato ibidem statim coronatus est. Sedit autem ab eius electione annos treis, menses novem, & dies vigintiquinque.
Anno Dominicae Nativitatis MCCLXV. die VIII Calend. Martii Viterbii PP. Clemens IIII suae coronationis insignia suscepit per manum Ricardi Hannibaldensis Diac.Card. S. Angeli S.R.E. Archdiaconi.
Guy le Gros Fulcoldi was elected unanimously on February 5, 1265. There is a story, retailed by Alphonse Chacon (Ciaconius, p. 729), that the disputes in the conclave were so great that the cardinals had to resort to a compromise committee of six cardinals, but this is not vouched for by any source, all of which talk about an election by vote of all of the cardinals. Ciaconius is notorious for his multitudinous mistakes and unsupported conjectures.
As Clement IV he was crowned in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Perugia by Cardinal Riccardo Annibaldi della Molara, the Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria (Cristofori, 40), on February 22, 1265 (according to Panvinio, 170).
Clement IV issued his first Bull, a privilege in favor of the Order of Preachers and the Conventual Franciscans, dated 2 Idus Februarii (February 12, 1265) (Cherubini, 158). It would have taken less than a week for him to be reached by messenger from the Cardinals in ultramontanis partibus (according to Fra Salimbene) and for him to travel by way of Assisi (according to Fra Salimbene, OFM) to reach Perugia. And it must be kept in mind that it was the winter season, when travel would have been the least convenient and speedy; and northern Italy and Tuscany were already engaged in civil war. It may well be that the distance of Guido Fulcoldi from the electoral meeting at Perugia at the moment of his election has been greatly exaggerated. J. de Gaulle, in his notes to the Life of Saint Louis (IV, 361), however, points out that a letter of February 17, 1266 is dated in Clement's first year and another of February 20, 1266 is dated in his second year. This would appear to put the day of accession between February 17 and February 20 (Epp. 149 and 151). Matthias Thumser, however, gives a datum for Letter 149 of "Datum Perusii, XIII Kalendas Martii, anno II." (Clemens IV Epistolae, #149), and in Epistola 148 the datum reads "Datum Perusii, XIIII Kalendas Martii, anno II" (February 16, Year 2). De Gaulle's conjecture, therefore, may be dismissed.
Pope Clement was able to inform several of his cardinals of the arrival in Italy of Charles of Anjou on the day before the Feast of the Ascension (May 15) [Martene, Thesaurus novus anecdotum II (Paris 1717), column 130; Thumser, no. 13]:
Dilectis filiis A. [Annibaldus Annibaldi] Sanctorum Apostolorum presbytero, R. [Riccardo Annibaldi] S. Angeli, J. [Giovanni Gaetano Orsini] S. Nicolai in carcere Tulliano, et J. [Giacomo Savelli] S. Mariae in Cosmedim diaconis cardinalibus.
Hac die martis inter nonam et vespleras mercatores Lucani a suis sociis in galeis comitis venientibus litteras receperunt scriptas caracteribus peregrinis, quas ex usu legere didicerunt, et legerunt protinus coram nobis, inter cetera continentes, quod in crastino Ascensionis Dominicae comes cum octoginta lignis connumeratis parvis et magnis venit ad portum Veneris summo mane, licet tempus habuisset adversum. Unde juste eum cito praesumimus venturum ad Urbem, si temporis qualitas patiatur, et hostium non obstat occursus, de quo scire non possumus veritatem, quam tamen quantum possumus exploramus, quibusdam dicentibus, iv. tantum galeas Siciliae visas in mari, aliis susurrantibus quod a Cajeta citra procedunt aliae quinquaginta. Vos igitur, quantumcumque salva commoditate, poteritis, accelerate prudenter. Nam masnata Sabiniae, quae subito dicitur recessisse, an se subito possit objicere viae vestrae, vel moliri vobis insidias ignoramus. Confidimus tamen in Domino, cujus negotia prosequimini, quod ante vos semper Angelum suum mittet.
Guy le Gros Fulcoldi, former secretary of King Louis IX, Archbishop of Narbonne, had been made a cardinal in Urban IV's first Consistory for the promotion of cardinals on December 24, 1261, and was assigned the Suburbicarian See of Sabina. In November of 1263, after the receipt of ambassadors and letters from King Louis IX of France and Queen Marguerite (sister of Queen Eleanor of England), Urban immediately, the next day, determined to send Cardinal Guy Bishop of Sabina as Papal Legate to England, Wales and Ireland to restore peace to that realm (Urban IV to the King, December 12, 1263). Cardinal Guy had received a letter (dated November 22, 1263, from Urban IV at Orvieto) with an exhortation and his mandate; he also received separate commissions on the same day investing him with full powers to act in the pope's name, even in matters that might not pertain to his office as Legate. On the same day, November 22, letters were sent to the archbishops, bishops and abbots in England, ordering them to receive Guy as Papal Legate and to obey his advice and orders. These were followed quickly by letters to Cardinal Guy from the Pope specifically authorizing numerous powers with regard to many institutions, persons, and situations. On December 12, 1263, a letter was dispatched to King Henry III of England and the next day letters to Queen Eleanor and to the Earls and Barons of England, requesting favorable reception of the Legate and the carrying out of his orders.(Bliss, Calendar, 396-400; Gasquet, 395-411)
Later, as the new pope, Clement IV had an opportunity to recall his treatment as he had attempted to deal with the English situation (Epistolae et Dictamina 117 Thumser, November 29, 1265). He wrote, in appointing his successor as Legate in England, Cardinal Ottobono Fieschi:
Suscepta legatione in Angliam, Walliam et Yberniam tunc in minori officio constituti et iniunctum nobis officium tam humiliter quam utiliter exequi cupientes premissis ad carissimum in Christo filium nostrum illustrem regem, prelatos et principes Anglie litteris, que nostrum pacificum prenuntiabant adventum, viros pacificos non invenimus suam in illis partibus exercente tyrannidem illo tempore Symone quondam Leycestrie comite cum aliis, quos infecerat sub simulate specie pietatis, qui etiam nostris retentis litteris et suppressis nostros detinuit nuntios et a suis detineri permisit et, ne nobis esse posset ambiguum, quicquid malignitatis conceperat contra Romanam ecclesiam matrem suam et dominum suum regem, reginam ac liberos eorundem, ob quorum consilium et auxilium mittebamur, nobis per suas litteras intimavit suo et alio-rum quorundam, quos ad suum errorem traxerat, communitas sigillis, quod nobis ad partes Anglie illo tempore aditus non daretur, verbis nonnullis adiectis et in ore suorum positis nuntiorum, que in eiusdem ecclesie et persone nostre manifestam iniuriam redundabant.
Guy le Gros got no farther than France, barred by Simon de Monfort, Earl of Leicester, from even entering England. In his view, Simon was a tyrant and the principal cause of England's troubles (cf. Letter of Urban IV to Simon de Monfort: Bliss, Calendar, 396). On the 8th of August, 1264, in the Church of St. Mary in Boulogne, the Papal Legate Guy le Gros Fulcoldi ordered Simon and his followers to allow him to cross over to England by September 1, or face excommunication. When he was rebuffed, Guy excommunicated Simon de Monfort, as well as Gilbert de Clare, the Earl of Gloucester and the Earl Marshal Richard of Norfolk, and all their adherents, as well as the City of London and the Cinque Ports. The interdict was pronounced against all of England except the King's chapels (Gasquet, 399-400, from Thomas Wykes, Chronicon, 156). Realizing that his mission was a failure, Guy began the return journey to Orvieto (Thomas Wykes, 157).
"Statimque legatus tanquam vacuus et delusus, reflexis habenis usque Beati Petri limina repedabat. Verum circa Festum Beati Michaelis priusquam legatus venisset ad Curiam, Venerabilis Papa Urbanus diem clausit extremum, regno caelesti pontificium temporale commutans. Cardinales itaque supradictum legatum in Summum Pontificem unanimiter elegerunt, quique solemniter consecratus, de Guidone vocatus est Clemens IV., non. Februarii in Festo S. Agathae virgine [February 5, 1265] consecratus....
The Annales Londinienses (Stubbs p. 65), for what little it may be worth, notes that Guy had heard of the death of Pope Urban on October 2 before he made his decision to return:
Circa istos dies missus est a curia Romana quidam legatus cardinalis, qui, pro metu baronum Angliae ingredi non ausus, apud Boloniam moram fecit. Obiit Urbanus papa in crastino Sanctorum Vedasti, Remigii et Germani: quod cum legato innotuisset, versus curiam Romanam reversus est. Verumptamen ante ejus recessum, comitem Gloverniae, Simonem de Monteforti et ejus filios, omnesque eis adharerentes sententia excommunicationis innodavit. Civitatem etiam Londiniensem et quinque portus interdicto supposuit. Pro metu tamen baronum nullus hoc publicare praesumpsit.
Clement IV died on November 29, 1268 in Viterbo.
Cronaca di Fra Salimbene Parmigiano (tr. Carlo Cantarelli) Volume 1 (Parma: Luigi Battei 1882). Onuphrio Panvinio, Epitome Pontificum Romanorum a S. Petro usque ad Paulum IIII. Gestorum (videlicet) electionisque singulorum & Conclavium compendiaria narratio (Venice: Jacob Strada 1557). Bartolomeo Platina, Storia delle vite de' Pontefici edizione novissima Tomo terzo (Venezia: Domenico Ferrarin, 1763), 108-118. Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo primo Parte secondo (Roma: Pagliarini 1792). Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Annali d' Italia Volume 18 (Firenze 1827). Laertius Cherubini (editor), Bullarium, sive nova collectio plurimarum Constitutionum Apostolicarum diversorum Romanorum Pontificum (Roma: Ex Typographa Camerae Apostolicae 1617) Léon Dorez et Jean Guiraud, Les registres d' Urbain IV, recueils des bulles de ce pape (Paris:Fontemoing 1892-1904).Edouard Jordan, Les registres de Clement IV, recueils des bulles de ce pape (Paris:Fontemoing 1893).
Luca Achery, Veterum aliquot scriptorum qui in Galliae bibliothecis, maxime Benedictinorum, latuerant spicilegium Tomus nonus (Parisiis: apud Carolum Savreux 1669).
Bernard Guidonis, OP, Bishop of Lodève (ca. 1261—1331): Edmond Martène and Ursine Durand, Veterum Scriptorum et Monumentorum Historicorum, Dogmaticorum, Moralium Amplissima Collectio Tomus VI (Parisiis: Montalant 1729).coll. 397 ff. U. Chevalier, Repertoire I, 1919-1920.
Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi per la storia de' Sommi Pontefici terza edizione Volume III (Roma 1821). G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Volume 14 (Venezia 1842) 28-30 ['Clemente IV']. Richard Stapper, Papst Johannes XXI (Münster 1898). J. Maubach, Die Kardinäle und ihre Politik um die Mitte des XIII. Jahrhunderts (Bonn 1902). F. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V.2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906) Book X, Chapter 1, pp. 335-358. Joseph Heidemann, Papst Clemens IV. (Münster 1903). Richard Sternfeld, Der Kardinal Johann Gaetan Orsini (Papst Nikolaus III.) 1244-1277 (Berlin: E. Ebering 1905).
Thomas Wykes: Henry Richards Luard (editor), Annales Monastici. Vol. IV. Annales Monasterii de Oseneia (A.D. 1016-1347), Chronicon vulgo dictum Chronicon Thomae Wykes (A.D. 1066-1289), Annales Prioratus de Wigornia (A.D. 1-1377) (London, 1869). Annales Londinienses: William Stubbs (editor), Chronicles of the Reigns of Edward I and Edward II Volume I (London 1882).
W. H. Bliss (editor), Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland. Papal Letters. Volume I (London 1893). Clemens IV Epistolae et Dictamina (edited by Matthias Thumser, August 5, 2007, *pdf format) [retrieved November 21, 2008]. Joseph Heidemann, Die Englische Legation des Cardinals Guido Fulcodi, die spaeteren P. Clemens IV. (Münster 1904). Abbot Francis Aidan Gasquet, Henry the Third and the Chruch (London 1905).
F. Cristofori, Le tombe dei pape in Viterbo (Siena 1887)
Johannes C. L. Gieseler, Compendium of Ecclesiastical History fourth edition revised and amended (tr. J. W. Hull) (Edinburgh 1853).
On the Annibaldi: Fedele Savio, SJ, "Gli Annibaldi di Roma nel secolo XIII," Studi e documenti di storia e diritto 17 (1896) 353-363. Francis Roth, OESA, "Il Cardinale Riccardo Annibaldi, Primo Prottetore dell' Ordine Agostiniano," Augustiniana 2 (1952) 26-60. M. Dikmans, "D' Innocent III à Boniface VIII. Histoire des Conti et des Annibaldi," Bulletin de l' Institut historique belge de Rome 45 (1975) 19-211. Annibaldo Annibaldi died in 1272, according to the Dominican chroniclers: Antonio Senensi, OP, Chronicon Fratrum Ordinis Praedicatorum (Paris 1585) 114 and 157: "Hoc tempore etiam frater Annibaldus Romanus ex magistro sacri Palatii, per Urbanum Quartum Cardinalis factus, sub titulo 12 Apostol. vir fuit eruditionis eximiae, & vitae probatissimae. Obiit in Vrbe Veteri, anno Domini 1272, et ibi requescit in conventu nostro."
On Cardinal Ubaldini: Guido Levi, "Il Cardinale Ottaviano degli Ubaldini, secondo il suo carteggio ed altri documenti," Archivio della Società Romana di storia patria 14 ( ), 231-303.
On Girolamo Borselli, OP, of Bologna, see Giovanni Fantuzzi, Notizie degli scrittori bolognesi Volume 8 (Bologna 1790), p. 28.
J. De Gaulle, Vie de Saint Louis, roi de France, par Le Nain de Tillemont Tome quatrième (Paris: Jules Renouard 1848)
© 2009 John Paul Adams, CSUN