During his pontificate Clement V had created twenty-four cardinals, in three creations. His choices resulted in a notable scandal. Six of his choices were relatives (See Ehrle, 149-158). Most of them were either fellow Gascons or cronies from one or another of his earlier episcopal appointments (Thomas Jors was Edward I's confessor). The Sacred College had no German or Spanish cardinals, and the Italian element (with no new appointments) came to be reduced to a mere eight. Cardinal Riccardus of Siena had been granted permission by Pope Clement on January 13, 1313, to leave the Curia and return to Italy for the sake of his health, for a period not to exceed two years [Baumgarten, Untersuchungen, p. 2; Regestum Clementis Papae V, VIII, 10014]. Cardinal Riccardus died at Genoa on February 10, 1314 [Regestum Clementis Papae V, VIII, 10268].
In a letter written by Cardinal Napoleone Orsini to King Philip IV in 1314, shortly after the death of Pope Clement V (April 20, 1314), the Cardinal bitterly complained that Clement had paid no attention to the Cardinals in making his appointments (Baluzius, II, 289-293; Souchon, 29-35):
Nam quasi nulla remansit cathedralis Ecclesia vel alicujus ponderis praebendula quae non sit potius perditioni quam provisioni exposita. Nam omnes quasi per emptionem et venditionem vel carnem et sanguinem possidentibus immo usurpantibus advenerunt. Dimittimus quod de XXIV Cardinalibus quos in Ecclesia posuit nullus in Ecclesia est repertus quae cum aliquando credita fuit sufficiens habere personas, sed per eum fuit hoc. Quinimmo nos Italici, qui ipsum bonum credentes posuimus, sicut vasa testea rejecti fuimus, adeo quod ad omnia quae ad statum cardinalatus respiciunt, sicut clerici praecipico periculosis negotiis mundi, cum quibus voluit Ecclesiis benedicis quibus placuit. Saepe etiam cassatis concordiis electionis, absque juris ordine, de valentibus personis, quando publicare volebat, in nostrum crepicordium vocabamur....
Pope Clement V (Bertrand de Got) was happily settled in Avignon, though he was drawn home to Bordeaux from time to time. He governed the city of Rome through a Vicar (Annuaire pontifical 1903, p. 530). Pope Clement had originally agreed to crown the successful candidate for the Imperial Throne personally in Rome. But he found reasons to withdraw from his commitment to crown Henry of Luxembourg—who had not been the candidate of Philip IV of France, Clement's patron—and appointed a committee of five cardinals to carry out the act.
On November 1, 1311, Henry of Luxembourg received a delegation from Rome, which included the Orsini, Colonna, and Annibaldi, inviting him to come to the city to be crowned Emperor. Both they and Henry also sent embassies to Avignon to ask the Pope to come to Rome and carry out the coronation. (Baddeley, p. 82; Nicholas, Bishop of Botrinto, who was a participant in the events, relates the story in his Iter Italicum). In the Winter of 1312, Henry VII decided to set out for Rome to be crowned Emperor. In February he left Genoa, and spent some weeks in Pisa, due to bad weather. On April 23, he set out again for Rome, accompanied by Cardinals Niccolò Alberti (Ostia), Arnaud de Falguières (Sabina) and Luca Fieschi, (SS. Cosma e Damiano). Originally five cardinals had been appointed by Pope Clement to carry out the coronation (Acta Henrici VII, 42), but Cardinal Leonardo Patrasso (Bishop of Albano) had died.on December 7, 1311; and Francesco Orsini (S. Lucia in Silice) was also dead (Emperor Henry VII so states in his letter to the King of Cyprus on his coronation day [MGH, p. 803], and the surviving Cardinals remark in their Testimonium to the coronation [MGH, p. 797]: "nos praefati domini, nostri summi pontificis volentes oboedire mandatis, ad Urbem accessimus, bene memorie Albanensi episcopo et Domino Francisco prefatis viam universe carnis ingressis, invenimus ecclesiam Beati Petri apostoli taliter occupatam...." The words could be taken to imply that Orsini was dead before they reached the city of Rome on May 6.). The journey to Rome was filled with strife, since Henry was vigorously opposed both by the Guelfs of central Italy and by King Robert of Naples, who feared a revived Imperial empire in Italy, which was now, with the pope absent in France, under his domination.
Henry, in fact, was prepared to fight his way into the city of Rome against Guelf opposition, but his way was eased with the help of the Colonna. On May 6, he crossed the Milvian Bridge (Ponte Molle) and made his way to the Lateran Basilica, where he took up residence. Then the real troubles began on May 21 with fighting around Santa Maria in Aracoeli and the Capitol (Nicholas of Botrinto, in Baluze, 1196-1199; Gregorovius, VI. 1, p. 59-60):
Statim post Domini Regis ingressum in urbem inceperunt bella, destructiones domorum et multa alia mala. Gens Regis continuato insultu per duos vel tres dies turrim illam juxta pontem ceperunt et omnes qui erant ibi, et credo quod se reddiderunt salva vita. Post paucos dies illi qui tenebant Capitolium de nocte ipsum dimiserunt et gens Domini Johannis ad quem illi iverant intravit, habita pecunia ab eo ut publice dicebatur. Statim domum fratrum Minorum prope Capitolium [S. Maria in Aracoeli] muniverunt de aliquibus eorum, ne per illum locum gravarentur. Gens Regis post haec domum fratrum Minorum violenter intravit et, ut audivi, per consensum aliquorum fratrum, qui aliter non potuissent sine damno. Quosdam de illis qui locum muniverant ceperunt, et alii in Capitolium fugerunt ad suos socios. Postea videntes quod populus Romanus cum senatore parabant se ad dandum insultum contra Capitolium, quia multos de populo jam vulneraverant de balistis trahentes per fenestras ad diversa loca, dimiserunt Capitolium sic quod quilibet posset portare arma sua et una vice quicquid posset cum armis portare. Factum est sic. Dominus Ludovicus senator Dominum Nicolaum de Senis dimisit ibidem loco sui, quem etiam populus finito termino senatoris habere voluit, prout ad praesens recordor.
On May 25 King Henry ratified the appointment of Louis of Savoy as Senator of Rome, and Nicholas de Senis was appointed Louis' vicar. But the struggles continued. On the 26th the imperial forces sacked the Orsini palaces and burned them, as they were attempting to force their way through the Campo Marzio toward the Vatican, which was being held by the Guelfs against them.
From the moment of Henry's first entry into Rome it had seemed unlikely that he could be crowned in the traditional place, the Vatican Basilica. The three surviving Cardinals charged by the Pope with his coronation are named in a document in which Henry VII asks to be crowned at the Lateran Basilica instead, since he was unable to reach St. Peter's Basilica. The Vatican was in the hands of the Orsini and other Guelfs (May 10, 1312: Acta Henrici VII, Vol. 2, no. 18, p. 35-36):
... Serenissimus Princeps D(omi)n(u)s Henricus dei gratia Romanorum Rex semper Augustus dixit requisivit et protestatus fuit Reverendis in Christo patribus, d(omi)nis Arnaldo Sedis Apostolice legato Sabinensi et fratri Nycholao Ostiensi Episcopis, et Luce Sancte Marie in Via Lata dyacono cardinali ea que inferius continentu et primo inter cetera que idem dns. Rex dixit dictis dnis cardinalibus, narravit qualiter ipse venerat ad urbem coronandus dyademate imperii, et sacro carismate inungendus, et quod voluntas eius et desiderium erat ipsas coronationem et iunctionem suscipere in basilica principis Apostolorum dum cum ad ipsam basilicam comode pervenire posset. Verum tamen, quia per maliciam aliquorum malivolorum ipsius dni Regis tale impedimentum prestatur sic ut manifeste apparet quod etiam non potest aliqua tergiversatione celari, quod idem dns Rex ad eandem basilicam comode accedere non potest sine magno periculo personarum. Requisivit idem dns Rex et rogavit ipsos dnos cardinales ut ipsum impedimentum admoveant....
but even after the street warfare of May the Cardinals were unwilling to comply with King Henry's wishes. Their excuse was that they were waiting for further instructions from the Pope in Avignon. Nicholas of Botrinto and Ferreto of Vicenza ( II, p. 58 Cipolla) even say that when the people heard about the delay caused by the Cardinals they were so angry that they attacked the Cardinals and would have killed them, had not the King intervened and quieted the mob.
On June 22, the Emperor-elect finally ordered the cardinals to carry out the coronation at the Lateran Basilica, and the Cardinals reluctantly agreed to do so (Acta Henrici VII, no.21, pp. 48-50; Nicholas of Botrinto, in Baluzius, II, 1200). Henry was crowned at the Lateran Basilica (or what was left of it, after the ruinous fire of 1308) on June 29, 1312, the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul (Gregorovius, VI. 1, p. 59-60). The crown was placed on his head—under formal protest of the Cardinals, who did not have proper instructions from Pope Clement (The instructions which they did have are published in Acta Henrici VII Vol. 2, no. 20, pp.42-48). The coronation was carried out by Cardinal Niccolò Alberti, Bishop of Ostia (Ferreto of Vicenza II, 60-61; see Gregorovius, p. 60 n.3; and Baddeley, p. 106):
sicque a Rege in templum Beati Ioannis in Laterano denique ventum est, quo postquam studiosus applicuit, Nicolaus de Prato Hostiensis et Vellitrensis episcopus cardinalis, apostolice Sedis legatus, ad altare perveniens, missam in laudem apostolorum celebrem exorditur, cui ministrantes Arnaldus et Lucas memorati cum clero, solemnibus vocum iubilis pariter concinnunt. iamque post angelorum canticum et evangeliste sacri paginam simbolum decantarant, et ecce sacerdos memoratus ex ara bicipitem mitram nivei coloris accipiens, Caesare pronis genibus coram flexo, capite eius reverenter imposuit; dein protinus aureum diadema superponens, obsequio ministrorum adiutus, illi pomum aureum sinistra, sceptrum vero regium in dextra obtulit....
The Cardinal Bishop of Ostia already had permission from the Pope in his original instructions to anoint the Emperor, though the ceremonial in these instructions envisioned that the Pope himself would place the mitre and crown on the Emperor's head (Acta Henrici VII, p. 45).
Three days after the coronation, Henry VII was pressured to withdraw from the city. The city which he left behind was in chaos, many of its public buildings, palaces, homes and fortified areas in ruins. If Clement had been dismayed by Cardinal Napoleone Orsini's report of his legateship in Italy (March 1306-June 1309), then the news of these events surrounding the coronation of the Emperor Henry VII would have made him even more reluctant to return the Curia to what was left of Rome.
In 1314, Cardinal Napoleone Orsini wrote to King Philip IV (Baluzius, II, 289-290):
...Sed proh dolor, versa est in luctum cithara nostra. Nam Regi vel regno, si subtili merito pensentur defuncti [Papae Clementis] opera et sub eo gravia suborta pericula, nec provisum nec est praecautum sed praecipitia periculosa cautela subfossa, nisi divina manus per semetipsam misericorditer complanasset. Vrbs tota sub eo et per eum extremae ruinae subjacuit, et sedes beati Petri immo Domini nostri Iesu Christi disrupta est, et patrimonialis non per praedones potius quam rectores spoliata est et confusa, et adjuc subjacet vastitati. Italia tota, ac si non esset de corpore, sic quoad omnia est neglecta, immo dolosis anfractibus et comminatis seditionibus dissipata quod posset fides Christi in threnis Hieremiae renovare lamenta...
Ptolemy of Lucca (Baluze, I, columns 55-56) says, on the authority of the Pope's confessor:
Eodem anno die XII Kal. Maii Clemens V moritur in quodam castro Regis Franciae quod dicitur Rochamaura. Fuerat autem multo tempore infirmus de tortionibus, ex quibus perdidit appetitum. Immo interdum patiebatur fluxum, et per ipsum mitigabantur tortiones. Interdum vero patiebatur vomitum. Et sic de talibus passionibus moritur; nec umquam fuit postea sanus postquam constitutionem contra religiosos mendicantes renovavit, sicut audivi a suo confessore fide digno.
It is said by John of Saint Victor that his body remained unburied for some time (Baluze, I, column 22):
Hoc etiam anno Papa Clemens feria tertia post quindenim Paschae obiit apud Carpentras. Gascones autem qui cum eo steterant intenti circa farcinas videbantur de sepultura corporis non curare, quia diu remansit insepultum.
Eventually, is body was transported across the Rhone to the town of Carpentras, where Clement had established his court. In August of the same year, according to Bernard Guidonis (Baluze, I, column 60), his body was removed to Gascony, where he was buried, according to his own wishes, in the Church of S. Maria de Usesta in Bazas.
Eubel Hierarchia Catholica I second edition, p. 15 note 3. Cardinal Napoleone Orsini had complained to the Philip IV of the large number of Gascons, including six of his nephews whom Clement V had created cardinals—without consultation of the existing Cardinals, and in passing remarked that there were twenty-four living cardinals. King Edward II of England wrote individual letters to each of them on September 16, 1315 (Rymer, Foedera, III 534).
According to Prior Amalric (Baluzius, I, 111-112), twenty-three cardinals opened the Conclave in the Episcopal Palace at Carpentras after the obsequies for Pope Clement had been completed. According to the regulations of Gregory X, this would have been on May 1, 1314 (Souchon, 36). The cardinals conducted their business pacifice et quiete, though without a successful election, until the Feast of S. Mary Magdalen on Monday, July 22, 1314. It is known that the Italian party had their own candidate from the beginning of the Conclave, Guillaume de Mandagot, Bishop of Palestrina. This is stated by Cardinal Napoleone Orsini himself, in a letter which he wrote to King Philip IV of France in 1314 (between April 20, when Clement V died, and November 29, when Philip died) (Baluzius, II, 289-293):
Licet aliqui inter nos Italicos sint boni, et bonos alios in diversis partibus cognoscamus, quia tamen non fuimus sicut fuimus, corde sic opere nos communes ad rem facibilem et communem nostros concurrimus cogitatus, et nominavimus a principio et in eo stamus firmi, Cardinalem bonae famae, rectae, ut credimus, conscientiae, excellentis scientiae, probatum in multiplici regimine, et in omnibus suis actibus a cler et populo commendatum, et qui est de regno et aleator honoris Regis et regni, corde sincero, non vacuo verbo, et per defunctum Pontificem ad archiepiscopatum Aquensem et postmodum ad cardinalatum assumptus est, et aliis Cardinalibus est amicitia multa conjunctus, ita quod quasi omnibus erat sicut unus ex eis. Nos in eo nihil habemus aut quaerimus nisi dreditam bonitatem. Hic Dominus Guillermus Dei gratia Episcopus Penestrinus, de quo nos populus et clerus dedimus quod statum Vascones acceptarent.
But the nomination of Guillaume de Mandagot, Bishop of Palestrina, a Frenchman and a subject of the King, was resisted by the Gascons, to everyone's stupefaction, and no explanation for the rejection was forthcoming.
Then, on July 22, something happened. Because of very serious discord which arose among the attendands of the cardinals, which nobody in the world was able to pacify (according to Amalric), the Cardinals left the Conclave. They agreed, however, that once they had their retinues under control, they would return to the Conclave. They were unable, however, to achieve that end. Worse, the violence increased and the discord enveloped the Cardinals themselves.
John, Canon of St. Victor's in Paris (Baluzius I, 113) provides more details, in particular as to a fire which was caused by the Gascons and which burned down the greatest part of the city of Carpentras:
Cardinales apud Carpentras ut de pastore providerent Ecclesiae convenerunt. Sed effusa est contentio super principes, nec poterant concordare. Italici talem eligere intendebant qui ad Romanam sedem curiam revocaret. Quod Cardinales Gascones facere formidabant: quia cum sui de Gasconia Italicis multas injurias irrogassent, certi erant quod si in manibus Romanorum inciderent, aequipollentiam sustinerent. Fuerunt ergo diu in tali discordia, licet inclusi multa incommoda sustinerent, quia cibaria eorum subtrahebantur, et domus eorum desuper dissipatae. Tandem haec Vascones non ferentes, ignem in palatio posuerunt, per quem combusta est pars maxima civitatis. Et sic dispersi Cardinales. Et licet secundum statutum in urbe qua moritur Papa debeat electio celebrari, tamen Italici omnino discordabant, volentes quod electio ad curiam Romanam transferretur, et alii alibi. Ideo sunt dispersi.
The Italian cardinals were demanding that the election be transferred to Rome. In the meantime they dispersed, a number of them taking up residence at Valence.
Unwilling to return to the Conclave out of fear of the Gascons, the Italian Cardinals scattered to various towns and castles and for two years remained dispersed. King Philip IV, who was still alive and who had heard of the recent breakup of the Conclave, wrote to Cardinals Bérenger Frédol (Bishop of Tusculum) and Arnaud de Pellegrue (Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Portico, and nephew of Clement V). He exhorted the Cardinals to select some place where they would all feel safe, whether inside his domains or outside of them, suggesting vigorously that that place should be Lyons. He admitted that the Italian cardinals had a valid reason for refusing to go to Carpentras or Avignon. To facilitate an agreement, he suggested that a committee be selected, one member from each side, Gascon and Italian, and as a third member Cardinal Nicolas de Fréauville, his own friend and confessor (Baluze, II, 293-297). His intervention produced no result. King Philip finally died on November 29, 1314.
On September 10, 1314, six of the Cardinals of the Italian faction, gathered at Valence, wrote an indignant public letter, addressed (in one surviving exemplar) to the General Chapter of the Cistercian order as well as to several individual monasteries (Baluzius II, 286-289), and in another copy addressed to King Edward II of England (Rymer, Foedera III, 494-495). The letter was signed by Niccolò Alberti (Ostia and Velletri), Napoleone Orsini (S. Adriano), Guglielmo de Longhi (S. Nicola in Carcere), Francesco Caetani (S. Maria in Cosmedin), Jacopo [Giacomo] Colonna (S. Maria in Via Lata) and Pietro Colonna (S. Angelo in Pescheria). They narrated their own version of the events of July 24, blaming the whole affair on the Gascons and labelling it an act of careful premeditation, led by two nephews of the late Pope Clement, Bertrand de Got and Raymond Guillermi:
...Et quidem dum nos et alii ejusdem Ecclesiae Cardinales post obitum Domini Clementis Papae quinti essemus in palatio civitatis Carpentoratensis ad eligendum futurum summum Pontificem sub uno conclavi, et nos Cardinales Italici ... subito Vascones, seu quod libram examinis sub futuro summo Pontifice teste conscientia formidarent, seu quod armorum violentia crederent hereditario jure Dei sanctuarium possidere, ex deliberato atque proposito, tamen sub palliato colore, deferendi videlicet corpus ejusdem Papae in copiosa peditum et equitum armatorum multitudine convenerunt, et scelus quod mente conceperant producentes in actum, die XXIV Iulii arma sumpserunt bellica, et sub ordinatione Bertrandi de Guto et Raymundi Guillermi Domini Papae nepotum civitatem Carpentoratensium intrantes, multes curiales Italicos, cum soli Italici peterentur ad mortem, inhumaniter trucidarunt, et se ad praedam convertentes et spolia, crescente rabie ac ad crudelia fervescente furore, in diversis civitatis partibus incendia posuerunt. Nec iis contenti, plurimorum Cardinalium ex nobis hospitia duris insultibus et injectis ignibus invadentes, bella ibidem acerrima cum clangore tubatum hostiliter intulerunt.
Invalescente tandem graviori periculo et gravissimo, sicut in captis civitatibus assolet, increbrescente rumore, multitudo Vasconum et equitum armatorum ostium dicti convlavis obsedit acclamando: Moriantur Cardinales Italici. [Volumus Papam, volumus Papam. et ipsis in hujusmodi acclamatione frementibus, alia multitudo Vasconum et equitum armatorum plateam dicti conclavis invasit, similibus circumdato palatio vocibus acclamando, Nos vero praefati Cardinales Italici] circums(a)epti tantis angustiis et mori tam turpiter tam crudeliter metuentes, cum omnia circa conclave armatorum multitudo teneret, neque publicus pateret egressus, tandem posteriorem murum palatii, facto inibi parvo foramine, pro nostro salute rupimus: de Carpentorate postmodum dispersi discedentes non sine mortis periculo ad diversa loca discessimus, et per misericordiam Dei ... ad terras pervenimus amicorum.
A similar letter of complaint and explanation was sent to King Jaime II of Aragon.
This encyclical letter was a particular embarassment to King Edward, who was the overlord of Bertrand de Got, and with whom he had been doing business in the name of Pope Clement and of Bertrand himself, and with whom he was still engaged —Edward was in need of funds for his Scottish War (Rymer Foedera III, 504 and cf. 545 and 571-572). King Edward did write a letter on December 4, addressed to Cardinal Niccolò Alberti, the Bishop of Ostia, urging the cardinals, in the most general terms and most conventional language, to get on with the business of electing a pope. Cardinal Alberti was well-known to King Edward, since he had been the Legate to England and France in 1301, charged with arranging a peace between the two.
King Jaime of Aragon responded to the same cardinals in a letter sent from Lerida on October 20, 1314 (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 200-201). The King's remarks acknowledge the grave scandal presented to all of Christendom by the failure of the Cardinals to elect a pope, though he very diplomatically avoids taking sides or placing blame, or, for that matter, intervening.
Early in January of 1315, King Jaime wrote to his accredited representative to the Roman Curia, Bishop Guillaume de Villamarin of Gerona, advising him to approach the Cardinals in Avignon, and, using whatever diplomatic language seemed appropriate to the situation that he might find, convince the Cardinals to proceed to a quick election of a pope. Under no circumstances, however, was the BIshop to respond in any way favorable to a suggestion that the presence of King Jaime at the Conclave might be helpful to resolving any difficulties. The Ambassador-Bishop carried out his mission.
On February 10, 1315, Cardinal Jacopo Colonna, the senior Italian Cardinal, who was staying in Valence, wrote to King Jaime of Spain, protesting that the Cardinals, including himself, were doing everything they could to elect a pope, hoping that the Church could be saved and praying that God would grant it, qui dudum se cum ea electa et sponsa sua clementer a morte roseo sanguineo redempta in finem usque promisit seculi permansurum. (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 204).
A reply on behalf of the French and Gascon Cardinals who were gathered at Avignon was sent to King Jaime on February 24, 1315, by Cardinal Arnaud de Pellegrue (Arnaldus de Via), a Gascon, the Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Portico. He protests that the cardinals at Avignon had offered ten names to the Italian Cardinals, from among whom they could select the one they wanted as pope. They subsequently offered the Italians any place in all of France or Provence they might choose as a meeting place for the resumption of the Conclave. Both offers were still on the table. The Italian Cardinals made only one counter-offer, a place to hold the Conclave, but it would have to be in the Empire and in Italy (...nominantes nobis loca imperii et loca etiam ultramontanes pro electione hujusmodi celebranda). In other words, the Italian cardinals wanted to be out from under the domination of the French king. Cardinal Guillaume Pierre Godin, OP, (S. Cecilia) wrote a similar letter at the same time (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 205-206)
King Louis X of France was not entirely neutral in the matter of the election of a pope either. He wished to secure a loan as well as soldiers from Clement V's nephew, Bertrand de Got, for his Flemish War. This would require a favorable attitude on the part of the King to Gascon interests. The royal agent in these negotiations, Pierre de Barrières, Bishop of Senlis, was also instructed to bring the cardinals together again to resume the Conclave. Documents indicate that Bishop Pierre left Paris on February 3, 1315, and arrived in Avignon on February 17. Completely unsuccessful in spurring the Cardinals to action, he left Avignon for Paris on April 14. In the same year King Louis' marital difficulties became critical. He had undertaken to marry Clemènce of Hungary, even though his current wife was still alive and kept in confinement for life in the Chateau-Gaillard, having been arrested, tried, and found guilty of infidelity by the Parlement. Nonethess, she and Louis were still legally married, and the dissolution of that marriage would require the active cooperation of a pope. Time was of the essence, since Clemence was already on her way to France from Naples (Bertrandy, 10-11). But no pope was forthcoming, and therefore no annulment was possible. Queen Margaret later died, on August 14, 1315, under suspicious circumstances, and five days later Louis and Clemènce were married.
On September 16, 1315, King Edward II of England wrote to each of the twenty-four cardinals (Rymer, Foedera III, 534), having received a detailed briefing from his recently returned procurators, Gilbert Becche and Antonius Pessaigne de Janua; he urged them once again to end the scandal of the vacancy and proceed quickly to the election of a pope. Yet another letter, sent from York on October 5 (Rymer, Foedera III, 538) was tinged with some asperity:
Cur non attenditis quae, exactis temporibus, ipsius ecclesiae prolixa vacatio, quae praedecessorum vestrorum dissentio nota dispendia intulerunt? Cur non praeteritorum confideratio vos edocet mala declinare praesentia, et futura pericula praecavere?
There is a letter from the Cardinals in the Municipal Archives of Perugia which may indicate the split in detail. The Magistrates and Commune of Perugia had written to the Cardinals to deplore the failure to elect a new pope and to urge them to carry out an election. The Cardinals' reply is dated April 10, but unfortunately without a year—which could be 1315 or 1316. The document is signed by fourteen out of the twenty-four cardinals (Déprez, p. 114):
Not signing are nine cardinals: Niccolò Alberti, OP, Bishop of Ostia e Velletri; Arnaud d'Aux, Bishop of Albano; Giacomo Colonna, Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata; Napoleone Orsini, Cardinal Deacon of S. Adriano; Pietro Colonna, Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria; Guglielmo de Longhi, Cardinal Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere Tulliano; Giacomo Caetani Stefaneschi, Cardinal Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro; Francesco Caetani, Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin; and Luca Fieschi, Cardinal Deacon of SS. Cosma e Damiano. With the exception of Arnaud d' Aux, the absent cardinals constitute the Italian Faction. Their absence presented a difficult problem. Could the Conclave proceed in their absence? The fourteen did not constitute a two-thirds canonical majority, even if they were unanimous in a choice. If they did attempt to proceed, would a schism be provoked? (cf. Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 208 and again 209) Could Cardinals be deprived of their right to vote? In earlier elections, when a cardinal was not present (as in 1271), special efforts were made to procure an explicit renunciation of their rights, and even then, after the election (as in 1271 and 1305) the cardinals made every effort to have the absent cardinals sign the Electoral Decree.
Finally, at the end of 1315, after two years without a pope and without a conclave, the king of France decided to intervene again. The Bishop of Senlis embarked on another embassy to the south, departing Paris on December 26, 1315. He spent seventy days going back and forth between Avignon and Valence (Bertrandy, 14). King Louis the Stubborn finally sent his most politically astute brother, Philip Count of Poitou, to persuade the Cardinals to begin their deliberations again. This decision must have been taken not long after Christmas of 1315, for Bernard Guidonis (Baluze, I, 131) remarks that Count Philip had worked for six months without successfully getting the conclave to resume:
...tandem congregati fuerunt pariter et inclusi diligentia, arte, et ingenio Domini Philippi tunc Comitis Pictaviae germani Regis Franciae Ludovici, cui successit in regno Franciae, qui ad hoc antea anno fere dimidio laboraverat multis modis, cum non potuisset in unum locum alias congregari. Et quadragesima die ab inclusione ipsorum, quae facta fuit in Vigilia Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, ipsis tamen quod tunc deberent includi nescientibus pariter et invitis, tandem tractatu praehabito in praefatum Dominum Johannem omnes pariter consenserunt.
It may even be that Count Philip was the force behind the embassy of Pierre de Barrières, Bishop of Senlis. Count Philip took up his residence in Lyons and began trying to pursuade the Cardinals to assemble there under his protection. Movement on the part of the cardinals can be detected in mid-March.
Some details of the movements of the cardinals are provided by the Spanish archives. Joannes Lupi wrote to King Jaime from Avignon on March 18, 1316, that the Norman Cardinal Nicolas de Fréauville, OP, (S. Eusebio) was already almost at Lyons. Cardinal Guillaume de Mandagot (Palestrina) was starting out that very day. Cardinals Bérenger Frédol (Tusculum) and his nephew Bérenguer Frédol (SS. Nereo ed Achilleo) were also departing Avignon that day. The rest of the cardinals would be heading for Lyons soon (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 206). These, however, were members of the French contingent. There was as yet no sign of the Italians, though they do seem to be assembled at Lyons with the French by the beginning of June..
Unfortunately Louis X died on June 5 of the effects of a strenuous game of tennis. He was without male issue but with a pregnant wife. (The baby, who was named John, lived only five days, dying on November 20, 1316) John of St. Victor says that King Louis' death was the turning point for the efforts of Philip Count of Poitou, who had to make some immediate and important decisions as to the government of France. He could not stay in Lyons any longer, neither could he leave the Cardinals without getting them to produce a pope. He had previously sworn that he would not impede the cardinals from coming and going from Lyons (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 208) , but now he obtained learned advice (de consilio theologorum) that such an oath was illicit. Immediately, therefore, he locked the Cardinals up in the convent of the Dominicans in Lyons (Baluze, I, 115; Muratori RIS, pp. 679-680):
Comes autem Pictavensis audiens mortem fratris, admodum fuit stupefactus. Non enim utile videbatur ulterius trahere moram in Lugduno nec electionis Papae negotium dimittere imperfectum. Consilio igitur habito judicatum extitit per prudentes quod de non includendis Cardinalibus erat illicitum quod fecerat juramentum. Tunc eos omnes in domo Praedicatorum ad colloquium convocavit. Quibus dixit quod inde non recederent donec de Papa Ecclesiae providissent. Positis ergo custodibus qui eos exire non permitterent, ipse in Franciam est reversus.
Finally on June 28, 1316, the Cardinals unwillingly returned to the conclave and began their deliberations again (Bernard Guidonis, in Baluze, I, column 151):
Et quadragesima die ab inclusione ipsorum, quae facta fuit in Vigilia Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, ipsis tamen quod tunc deberent includi nescientibus pariter et invitis, tandem tractatu praehabito in praefatum Dominum Johannem omnes pariter consenserunt.
Johannes Lupi, the Procurator at the Roman Curia of the King of Aragon, was able to write to King Jaime on June 30 that the Cardinals had been assembled in the Convent of the Dominicans and were ordered by Count Philip of Poitou through his friend the Count of Forez to elect a pope (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 207):
Sane, serenissime princeps, vos scire cupio quod die lune vigilia apostolorum Petri et Pauli , que fuit IIII Kalendas Julii, domini cardinales tam Italici quam Citramontani omnes numero XXIII, ut consueverunt alii, ad domum Praedicatorum convenerunt. Ipsis vero in loco solito existentibus milti de familia comitis Pictavensis aparuerunt armati, plures quam diebus aliis retroactis. Et paulo post iuxta horam terciam comes ipse misit ad eos comitem de Foresio, qui ex parte sua notificavit eis, quod darent operam omnino ad eligendum papam. Nam scirent, quod numquam inde exirent, quousque summum pontificem elegissent. Et statim fuit ordinatum inter eos, quod remanerent duo domicelli et unus capellanus cum quolibet cardinalium et alii omnes recederent, et in continenti omnes alii recesserunt. Comes autem ipse Pictavensis, licet disposuisset recedere, deliberavit remanere quousque papam penitus habeamus, et ubi ipsum contingat recedere, comes de Foresio remanebit hic pro eo, qui est potentissimus in pratibus istis, ad custodiam cardinalium et civitatis, qui forcius et arccius constitucionem domini Gregorii X contra eos faciet observari.
There was a certain amount of complaint against the Count of Poitou, who, it was alleged, was excommunicated because he had broken his oath and locked the cardinals up in Conclave. But he paid no attention. Forez became the governor of the Conclave.
It was reported to King Jaime on Wednesday, July 21, by Arnaldo de Cumbis, his Procurator at the Roman Curia, that Cardinal Arnaud d'Aux, a Gascon (Bishop of Albano), would have been elected on the day that the Conclave resumed, had it not been for Count Philip, who caused four votes to be withheld by announcing that Cardinal Arnaud was not acceptable to the King of France (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 210):
Dicitur tamen hic communiter et ita audivi ab hominibus fide dignis et qui dicunt se scire pro certo, quod Cardinalis Albus fuisset papa die qua fuerunt retenti, nisi Dominus Comes Pictavensis impedivissent, qui sibi abstulit IIII voces pro eo, quia non reputat eum amicum regis Francie, sed pocius creditur, quod fuit, tamen quia ipse vel domus Franciae nollent hominem ita iustum set qui eorum voluntatem in omnibus adimplerent. Alique eciam Gallici dixerunt quod dictus cardinalis nimis diligit vos et dominum regem Maioricarum et totam domum vestram.
The same Arnaldo de Cumbis reported that, since the Cardinals had been enclosed on July 28, only one scrutiny had taken place. Neither did one take place between July 21 and his next letter on July 29. He did pass on some inside information as to the alignment of cardinals and their candidates:
Ytalici nominant dominum Penestrinum (Guillaume de Mandagot) et dominum Album (Arnaud d'Aux), Citramontani sunt divisi: Uascones enim volunt dominum Arnaldum de Pelagrua pro quo eciam dominus comes rogavit instanter, Provinciales et alique Gallici vellent dominum Tusculanum (Bérenger Frédol). Sunt multi insuper, quorum quilibet velle pro se ipso. Et nullomodo Citramontani volunt papam extra collegium, nam cum sint XVII et alii VII possent facere extra collegium, quemcumque vellent, set in hoc eciam non possent esse concordes.
Certainly the preference of the Italians had not changed since the beginning of the Conclave more than two years earlier. As Cardinal Napoleone Orsini had pointed out, the Bishop of Palestrina was their choice. The statement that Arnaud d'Aux was also their candidate may well explain why he was one of the cardinals, the only Frenchman, who did not sign the letter to the Perugians earlier in the Sede Vacante. Even under pressure from Count Philip, who held them prisoner in Lyons, it took the Cardinals forty days to achieve a successful election. This came on August 7, 1316 (Bernard Guidonis, in Baluze, I, 133: electus fuit in summum Pontificem in conventu fratrum Praedicatorum Lugduni VII. Idus Augusti, in sabbato). The news was reported immediately, on August 7, to the King of Aragon by his Procurator, Joannes Lupi (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 212)
Princeps serenissime. Noveritis, quod die sabbati VII. Idus Augusti dominus Jacobus episcopus Portuensis dudum Avinionensis, qui de Catursio trahit originem et iam pridem fuit cancellarius regis Roberti, electus fuit in summum pontificem. Et eius electio fuit publicata et ipse venit ad ecclesiam cum pluviali et mitra cruce precedente et recepit aliquos ad reverenciam. Et statim reintravit cameram et assumpsit sibi nomen Johannes. Utinam placabilem eum faciat nobis Deus! Et factus est propter discordiam Italicorum. Nam dominus Neapoleo discessit a domino Petro de Collumpna et ipse et dominus Franciscus et dominus Jacobus Gayetanus consenserunt in eum.
In a second letter on August 11, Johannes Lupi had more information to pass on. The change in the votes of the Cardinals had taken place in fact the day before the successful election, on August 6, because of a private meeting of the Italian Cardinals (Finke, Acta Aragonensia, 215-216):
Noveritis itaque, excellentisime d[omine], quod, [cum] varii tracatus habite fuisent inter cardinales, tandem die iovis nonas Augusti domini Italici per se fuerunt in magno colloquio. Et licet aliquale odium esset inter dominum Neapoleonem et dominum P[ietro] de Columpna, tamen usque ad illum diem semper Italici in facto electionis fuerant in concordi proposito, tunc vero, cum Dominus Petrus vellet ad suam voluntatem omnes trahere, patenter fuit rupta eorum concordia, ita quod dominus Neapoleo dixit ei: Faciatis facta vestra, ut melius poteritis, et nos faciemus n[ostra! Et] tunc dominus Neapoleo et dominus Jacobus [Gaye]tani et dominus Franciscus univerunt se cum domino Arnaldo de Pelagrua et sequacibus suis in favorem regis Roberti, ut haberent omnino istum Portuensem.
Et ecce, quod sequenti die, cum ipse iam certus esset de XVIII vocibus cardinalium, cum scrutinium deberet fieri, subito videntes alii, quod complementum vocum haberet etiam sine eis, fecerunt de necessitate virtutem et absque alio scrutinio ipsum concorditer in summum pontificem elegerunt. Et statim assumpsit sibi nomen Johannes, et, ecce, eum papem!
Die lune V. idus Augusti vocati fuerunt ad consistorium cardinales et ordinavit in primis, quod audiencia causarum et litterarum resumeretur Avinione in kalendis Octubris.
The contemporary sources are unanimous that the election was accomplished by twenty-three cardinals (not, of course, including the new pope). In fact, as Johannes Lupi explains, on the morning of August 7 it was clear that Cardinal Duèse had eighteen solid votes, thanks to the faux pas of Pietro Colonna, and therefore, when the hold-outs suddenly realized the fact, they made a virtue out of necessity and without any scrutiny they acclaimed Cardinal Duèse unanimously. The successful candidate was none of the papabili, but rather Cardinal Jacques Duèse, a Gascon, the Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina.
On August 11, 1316, Arnaldo de Cumbis, one of the Aragonese Procurators at the Roman Curia, wrote to King Jaime, "Dominus Napoleo dixit michi, quod dominus Papa intendit modis omnibus ire Romam, si posset fieri pax predicta." That appears to have been the understanding of the Continuator of Ptolemy of Lucca (Baluzius I, col. 178), who says that Orsini refused to attend at the making of the Last Will and Testament of Pope John on November 3, 1334, because he was still indignant against the Pope quia Papa in sua electione, quae apud Lugdunum celebrata fuit, juravit se nomquam ascensurum equum vel mulum nisi iret Romam. Though this may well have been a personal undertaking by Pope John with Cardinal Napoleone, there is some possibility that there were Electoral Capitulations in 1316, and that Cardinal Napoleone Orsini's indignation derives from the breaking of one of those promises (See Souchon, p. 45)
Pope John XXII was crowned in the Cathedral of St. Jean in Lyons (Bernard Guidonis, in Baluze, I, 133: fuitque coronatus more Pontificum Romanorum Lugduni in Ecclesia cathedrali Nonis Septembris, Dominica prima eiusdem mensis; and likewise Prior Amalric Augerii, Baluze, 185) on September 5, 1316 (Souchon, p. 36 n.). The Coronation had been twice postponed so that Count Robert of Poitou, who was now Regent of France, could be present. Count Charles of Valois, Alençon, Perche, Anjou and Maine, the brother of Count Philip the Regent, and Count Louis of Évreux, their uncle, held the reins of the horse on which the Pope rode in procession [Guillaume de Nangis, Chronicon, p. 428; Baluze, I, 794]
qui, mutato nomine, Johannes XXII papa vocatus, ibidem, ante Nativitatem beatae Mariae virginis, sua suscepit insignia, Karolo comite Marchiae, fratre Philippi regentis regna Franciae et Navarrae, eorumque avunculo Ludovico Ebroicensi comite frenum equi cui insidebat regentibus, ejusque festum decorantibus ipso die.
Giovanni Villani has it (Historia Universalis IX. 79, col. 483 Recanati) that John XXII was crowned at Avignon on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, September 8, 1316. Well informed as he often is on Italian matters, Villani may safely be ignored on this point.
At the end of September, John XXII left Lyon and reached Avignon on October 2, where he established himself and the Roman curia (Baluze, I, 152, from Bernard Guidonis). On December 13, 1316, showing that he intended to stay, he issued a Bull, Ad mensae elpiscopalis (Duhamel, 229-230), in which he ordered new construction work to begin on the episcopal palace at Avignon:
Ad mensae episcopalis ecclesiae Avinionensis augmentum, solicitis studiis, intendentes, illa paterna benevolentia promovemus, per quae status ejus gratis commodis augeatur. Volentes itaque ut Domus seu Palatium episcopale ipsius ecclesiae, prout decens et congruum fore dinoscitur, amplietur, eleemosinariae ac praepositurae novae ipsius ecclesiae Avinionensis, hospitia dictae domui seu palatio episcopali contigua, videlicet hospitium dictae elemosinariae cum hospitali, viridario, domibus et pertinentiis suis, prout protenditur....
This did not present a problem with the Bishop(-elect) of Avignon, who was the new Pope's nephew, Cardinal Jacobus de Via (Eubel, I, 15). Upon Cardinal Jacobus' death on June 13, 1327, perhaps by "witchcraft", he was succeeded by another papal nephew, his brother Cardinal Arnauld de Via.
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Stephanus Baluzius [Étienne Baluze], Vitae Paparum Avinionensium 2 volumes (Paris: apud Franciscum Muguet 1693): "Sexta vita Clementis V, auctore Amalrico Augerii de Biterris Priore S. Mariae de Aspirano in diocesi Helenensi [Elne]" 95-112. "Prima Vita Joannis XXII, auctore Ioanne Canonico Sancti Victoris Parisiensis," 113-134. "Secunda Vita Ioannis XXII auctore Bernardo Guidonis Episcopo Lodovensi," 134-152. "Quinta Vita Ioannis XXII, ex appendice Ptolemei Lucensis," 173-178. "Sexta Vita Ioannis XXII, auctore Petro de Herentali, Canonico Praemonstratensi et Priore Floressiensi," 179-184.
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J.-B. Christophe, L' histoire de la papauté pendant le XIV. siècle Tome premier (Paris: L. Maison 1853) 78-175. Martin Bertrandy-Lacabane, Recherches historiques sur l' origine, l' élection, et le couronnement du pape Jean XXII (Paris 1854). Martin Souchon, Die Papstwahlen von Bonifaz VIII bis Urban VI (Braunschweig: Benno Goeritz 1888) 35-45. Herbert Hofmann, Kardinalat und kuriale Politik in der ersten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts (1935)
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William Cornwallis Cartwright, On the Constitution of Papal Conclaves (Edinburgh 1878)
© 2010 John Paul Adams, CSUN