This vacancy of the Apostolic Throne is extraordinary in terms of the bulk of contemporary evidence which has survived, some of it still languishing in the Vatican Archives unpublished. In general, consult Gayet, Tome I, vi-xxv; and Valois, Tome I, xi-xxix
The professional lawyers who wrote casus, or facta, or assertiones for their clients must be taken by the historian to be partisans. Neither Baldus of Perugia, nor Joannes de Lignano, nor Jacobus de Seva (on the side of Urban VI) was present at the Conclave or even in Rome during the events of April, 1378. Each was writing from materials—carefully selected materials—provided by their client and his agents. And they were expected to produce a brief in favor of their client. The same may be said for Cardinal Pierre de Barreria, or Ioannes Fabri, Abbot of S. Vedasti, or St. Vincent Ferrer, writing for Pope Clement VII. The several versions that were produced by Joannes and by Baldus, however, show that the argument was ongoing and the issues constantly shifting, so that the case for Urban had to be reworked repeatedly. (A list of these various documents is to be found in Baluzius I, 1292-1295).
The 'Casus' of three Italian Cardinals represents a special kind of source. It was constructed, largely through the work of Cardinal Orsini, to represent the perspective of a small minority in the College of Cardinals. It is a narrative of facts, but not all the facts, and certainly not all the pertinent facts. What went into the casus was what the three cardinals could agree on, and what they were willing to see circulated in public. Since each would have had his own point of view, the final document must be considered the end product of a negotiation. It was sufficiently pertinent, however, that it subsequently received the adherence of four of the Ultramontane cardinals (at Nice, in November 1380), and it was used as a weapon against the Cardinals by both Baldus and Johannes de Lignano. Nonetheless, Cardinal Corsini, though he signed the Casus, felt compelled to add a lengthy supplement on his own., and he annotated a copy of the 'Casus' in the Vatican Archives. Cardinal Borsano, by contrast, had practically nothing to say on the record.(He died on August 27, 1381).
It must be kept in mind that a number of the depositions were written in answer to written requests for information from royal ambassadors, sent by the kings of Aragon and Castile to collect information. These requests contained a series of prepared questions designed to elicit the information required on contested points of fact. Alternatively, the depositions were sometimes the result of questions asked by the ambassadors personally, the answers to which were taken down by notaries and redacted by the same notaries into the form of a statement, which was then reviewed and signed by the witness. These depositions might also included interrogatories concerning other depositions or casus. Again, the questions put by the ambassadors of Aragon or of Castile were prepared in advance. There is therefore a similarity in what is said from one deposition or responsory to another, which should not be taken to indicate collusion on the part of the witnesses. The ambassadors of the King of Castile (Rodrigo Bernardi, Alvarus Menendi, and Fra Fernando de Yliescas) collected a considerable number of depositions and responsiones both at Avignon in May, 1380, and in Rome (Baluzius I, 1286-1289).
As to what took place in the Chapel in the Apostolic Palace where the Conclave took place on April 8, it is alleged that only the Cardinals are reliable witnesses, up to the point after lunch when the Roman mob poured into the Conclave area and trapped the Cardinals in the Chapel; and that other versions must be considered hearsay. But there are other sources, though their value depends upon being able to discern the source(s) of their information. Nicolas Eymeric is of special value, to the extent that his information was derived from one of the Conclavists. It may also be said that, as Inquisitor of Aragon, he had special professional skills, which allowed him to produce a more critical and coherent story than some other deponents. His presentation of the evidence of what went on in the Conclave negates much of the argument of Baldus of Perugia, who refuses to accept any of the material as to what went on in the Conclave on the grounds that only the Cardinals could know it, and the Cardinals could not give evidence for or against themselves. This applies particularly to the state of mind of the Cardinals, as to whether they were in fear (metus) and were being intimidated (impressio). There were, in fact, a number of reliable witnesses. Archbishop Guilielmus de la Voult, Custodian of the Conclave, was also in possession of important first-hand information, and he must be given a serious hearing, since he communicated with the Cardinals directly during the Conclave and he could see into the Conclave area. His assistant, the Roman Stephanus Pelosii , the Bishop of Todi, is also a valuable informant.
"Raynaldi est loin d' avoir l' autorité de Baronius. On lui reproche l' emportement et le manque de critique. Il justifie ces reproches dans la manière dont il a traité l'histoire du grand schisme. S'il est un fait contestable c'est que les nations, qui ont suivi soit l'un, soit l'autre des contendants, sont à l'abri de l'imputation de schisme. Des esprits sérieux n'ont pas vu sans regret que Raynaldi eût traité sans ménagement comme véritablement schismatiques les nations de France et d'Espagne. Il eut été plus sage de maintenir l' ancienne opinion que, dans le grand schisme, il n'y avait peuples schismatiques. Raynaldi a plus encore justifié le reproche de manquer de critique. Il tira des archives pontificales tout ce qui pouvait servir à son opinion, et laissa de côté tout ce qui lui était contraire. Il ne s' est pas conduit en historien, mais un plaideur. Il a soutenu une cause et une thèse.... Baluze, il est vrai, a tenté de compléter les omissions de Raynaldi, mais il a été condanné par l'Index à raison de déplorable erreurs de doctrine.
"C' est surtout de Raynaldi que date le courant historique qui entraine les historiens et qui les incline à penser, que l'election d'Urbain VI étant absolument légitime, il y a lieu de revenir sur ce qui a été cru et decide au temps du Concile de Constance et de Martin V. Or Raynaldi n'a pas fait connaître un seul document nouveau. Il s'est borné à mettre en lumière les pièces favorable à ses clients. Il a connu les autres. Dans les tables qui ont servi à ses recherches, et qui sont dépossées à la Vallicelliana, on voit que le pour et le contre lui ont été soumis. Par ses annotations on reconnaît qu'il n.a voulu tenir compte que du pour. C'est Raynaldi qui a donné aux historiens modernes les documents incomplets sur lesquels il se sont prononcés. Sans doute l'opinion de l'histoire peut et doit souvent se modifier. Mais, remarquons le: quand cette modification se produit, c'est toujours parce que les savants découvrent des documents nouveaux, qui étabilssent que les anciens historiens ont été induits en erreur. Raynaldi a établi un nouveau courant historique en ne produisant que la moitié des documents qui étaient à sa disposition.... (Gayet I, xix-xxi.)
The tactic of demonizing one's opponents and labeling them as schismatics made it possible for many later authors to exclude a mass of important testimony against the legitimacy of Urban VI, including the depositions and responses of the Cardinals. Such a tactic may be acceptable in Canon Law, but it is hardly in accord with the obligation of a historian to write the truth.
On December 21, 1376, an agreement was signed between three cardinals representing Pope Gregory XI (Porto [Pietro Corsini], Ostia [Petrus de Stagno], Santa Sabina [Joannes de Blandiaco]) and the People of Rome, in which the Romans transferred to the Pope the suzerainity which they had given to ' the noble Pierre Roger de Beaufort' as Senator in 1371; this suzerainty included control over the bridges, gates and fortifications of the Trastevere (Mirot, 168; Gregorovius, 452). The Pope finally landed at Ostia on January 14, 1377. His solemn entry into Rome took place three days later, on January 17 [relief from his tomb at right, by Pietro Olivieri, 1585]. The occasion was described by Petrus Amelio [Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores III. 2, 690]
The war with the Florentines, however, continued through 1377. But by the end of the year the forces put together by the Pope had brought the Florentines to the point where they were willing to enter into a Peace. Cardinal Jean de la Grange was in Tuscany at Sarzano, where he had been managing the war, and was now negotiating the Peace at the time of the Pope's death. This military and diplomatic success, just when the Pope died and a Conclave loomed, had great consequences for the hopes of the Commune of Rome. French forces, particularly Bretons, who had been working as mercenaries for the papal cause, were suddenly free to carry out other tasks, such as the reduction of the city of Rome to proper obedience to the Pope. The Officials of the City, therefore, had a very limited amount of time to produce a new pope favorable to their cause. A long and argumentative Conclave, by which time Cardinal de la Grange and the Bretons would arrive in Rome, might strengthen the French party and produce another French pope, and, with the split in the Sacred College between the Limousins and the others, a long Conclave appeared to be a likely scenario. Pope Gregory himself was aware of the trouble that was coming. One of the clerics of Avignon, Ioannes Columbi, reported what he had heard from some papal chamberlains: that Gregory had advised the Cardinals not to worry about the nine days of public mourning (Novendiales), but to conduct the election of a new pope quickly, because he feared that the Romans would engage in some sort of violence against them (Baluzius I, 1225):
dixit quod audivit ab aliquibus cubiculariis Papae Gregorii quod idem Gregorius Papa dixerat dictis Cardinalibus, antequam moreretur, quod rogabat eos non curarent tenere novenam ante electionem, sed eligerent citius quam possent illum quem vellent, quoniam dubitabit quod Romani inferrent eis aliquam violentiam.
There are hints that the Florentines actually set in motion a plan to assassinate Pope Gregory; at the time of the Conclave a man was being held in the Castel S. Angelo on suspicion of having brought money from Florence to pay for an attack on the Pope. There are other indications (recalled by Nicolas Eymeric, OP, Inquisitor of Aragon, Pope Gregory's chaplain) of a plot to murder the Ultramontane cardinals to prevent them from electing another non-Italian cardinal. In January or February of 1378, a Roman friend of Cardinal Jean de la Grange revealed the plot to the Cardinal, who informed the Senator of Rome, Guido de Pruinis. Guido had the ringleader of the plot publicly beheaded. There was also a plot, revealed to the Castellan of the Castel S. Angelo, Pierre Gaudelin, to kidnap the Camerarius, Archbishop Pierre de Cros, and use his person to force the surrender of the Castel to the Romans.
The Inquisitor Nicolas Eymeric prudently removed his precious books to safety in the Convent of the Dominicans at the Minerva, and he stayed indoors the entire day that the Conclave opened:
Anno vero eodem, die scilicet Mercurii, ab obitu D. Gregorii XIa, que fuit VI mensis Aprilis [No. Thursday April 7], hora vesperorum, conclave intrarunt, causa eligendi romanum pontificem electores DD. cardinales, qua hora hic deponens in domum se detrusit, nec inde illa die vel sequenti rumorem metuens exivit. Libros et alia que habebat in conventu Fratrum Predicatorum Minervae posuit, et ibi ad fores conventus ubi erat ejus hospitium, clausus remansit. Quare de hiis que fiebant circa et contra DD. cardinales in conclave clausos breviter non vidit. Est verum quod habuit duos fratres ordinis sui ytalicos, scilicet fratrem Anthonium et quemdam alium ciculos sibi familiares, quos misit ad palatium apostolicum ubi erant electores DD. cardinales, ut attenderent ad ea quae fierent, et referrent....
So too did Johannes Volcardi, Master of the Chapel to Urban VI. He found a tower in which he stashed all of his movable property as well as food supplies—and on the morning of April 8, after seeing the armed men in St. Peter's Square and the violent mood of the people, he sought refuge there.
Even before the death of Pope Gregory the Officiales of the city of Rome were making plans for the future conclave. Meetings were held, sometimes several meetings in one day. In his report to the King of Castile, Rodrigo Bernardi, who had conducted investigations in Avignon and Rome on behalf of the King, wrote (Gayet I, 135-136):
In primis, tempore obitus s. m. D. Gregorii papae XI, et ante et post, romani diversa consilia tenuerunt apud capitolium aliquando bis in die, et interdum apud domum cardinalis S. Petri post duas vel tres horas noctis, ubi etiam aliquotiens inter erat D. cardinalis de Ursinis, et in illis consiliis tractabatur quod expediebat eis omnino quod eligeretur in papam aliquis romanus vel italicus, et cum semel dixisset unus doctor romanis, quod non erat conveniens cogere cardinales, fuerunt indignati romani, et tantum habuerunt cordi ut eligeretur romanus vel italicus ad finem quod remaneret curia apud ipsos, quod contempserunt consilium ipsius doctoris. Et ultra gentes armorum ad custodiam conclavis deputatas, ordinaverunt et fecerunt quod omnis alii venirent armati ad rumorem die electionis, nedum fecerunt venire montanarios ad Urbem, et constituerunt eis unum capitaneum qui dicebatur Franciscus de Aquillaria.
It is alleged that the Archbishop of Bari, Bartholomeo Prignano, was present at one or more of the meetings. Angelo Feducci da Bibbiena, Bishop of Pisauro (1374-1386, when he went over to the Clementine obedience), stated in his sworn Deposition to the Ambassadors of the King of Aragon in 1380 (Baluzius I, 1217):
...Testis qui loquitur fuit requisitus si volebat interesse in dictis consiliis ab uno Praelato Romano; a quo petiit dictus testis quid agebatur in dictis consiliis, et qui erant vocati. Qui respondit quod pro certo Romani intendebant dare ordinem quod hac vice haberent Papam Romanum, et quod ad ista consilia erant plures vocati clerici et laici; et nominavit de vocatis Dominum Agapitum de Columna, Dominum Abbatem Montis Cassini [Petrus de Tartaris], Dominum electum Tiburtinensem [Philippus de Rufini, OP], Dominum Generalem Heremitanarum, Dominum Archiepiscopum Barensem [Bartolomeo Prignano] qui postquam fuit electus, existens in cathedra, dixit audiente dicto teste quod aliquando interfuerat consiliis Romanorum, sed non ad alium finem quam ad reprimendum eorum furiam.
Joannes de Bar, the Papal Subdeacon and senior Chamberlain of Pope Gregory (who later went over to the Clementine obedience), even reports a conversation he had with the Archbishop of Bari during the Novendiales, as they were returning from the Church of S. Maria Nova. In this conversation Bari admits that he was summoned to a meeting with the Officiales (Baluzius I, 1217):
Item, quadam die, durante novena, ipso loquente redeunte de dicta Ecclesia sanctae Mariae cum Martholomae tunc Archiepiscopo Barensi, idem B. dixit sibi quod Romani eum vocaverant ad consilium eorum tractantes de electione summi Pontificis, ut credit, et facto consilio recommendavit se eis.
Antonius de Vetulis, Bishop of Fermo (1374-1386) [Eubel I, 249], records a later statement, after Bartholomeo had been made pope by the Romans, that he was prepared to do whatever the Romans wanted, since they had put him in the papal office [Baluzius I, 1218],
Item vidit una die quod Iohannes Cincii tunc Cancellarius Urbis et aliqui Romani supplicabant dicto Barensi in camera paramenti, et quod dictus B. dicebat eis quod paratus erat facere pro Romanis illa quae petebant et majora, quia ipsi et non alii posuerunt eum in illo statu et fecerunt eum Papam.
And finally, Cardinal Pierre de Vergne speaks of a meeting that took place at his house just before the Conclave began, with Bartholomeo Prignano and Bartolommeo de Zabriciis, in which they admitted privately that they knew the plan of the Romans, and that if the Cardinals wanted to save themselves from death they had to vote for a Roman or an Italian pope:
Item, in ingressu conclavis predictus Bartholomeus de Perinhano venit ad domum meam in S. Jacobo, ubi fecit suam [supplicationem] que in effectu erat talis, quod cum quo oporteret quod nos eligeremus romanum vel italicum. In illum eventum, supplicabat quod ego haberem ipsum recommendatum et demum finitis verbis per ipsum loquentem, per episcopum Recanatensem eadem supplicatio iterata fuit, submittens quod pro certo illa vice oportebat, si volebamus salvare nos, quod istud fieret, alioquin omnes eramus mortui, quia ista fuerat deliberatio precisa romanorum.
What specifically were the Roman Officiales planning? Cardinal de Vergne claims that he had had an additional private conversation with his 'familiaris' Bishop Bartolommeo de Zabritiis, after Prignano had left, in which Bartolommeo de Zabritiis revealed that he was privy to the plans of the Roman government, and that they intended to approach the Cardinals after they entered Conclave and tell them to elect a Roman or an Italian, and if they were to do so everything would be all right; but if not, they would kill all cardinals who would not agree, one way or another. Nicolas Eymeric, the Inquisitor of Aragon, who was with the papal court under Gregory XI as Papal Chaplain, provides an entire menu of actions taken by the Roman leaders to frighten the Cardinals, including the erection of a wooden gallows in the Piazza San Pietro.
It appears that Cardinal Orsini was privy to these manipulations which were preparing the Roman mob for terrorizing the Cardinals in conclave. The parish priest of S. Bartolommeo all' Isola reported that Cardinal Orsini had held a convivium for his neighbors to rehearse them as to what to say. At the opening of the Conclave on April 7 Orsini's supporters called only for a Roman:
cardinalis dictus de Ursinis fecit convivium ante ingressum conclavis, ubi fuerunt omnis vicini sui in illa societate. Et presumit iste quod dictus cardinalis fecit istos vocari ut in congregatione nominarent romanum tempore conclavis. Et illo sero cum intraverunt conclave, omnis clamabant: "Romanum volumus aut ad minus italicum," sed erant diversi romani in hoc, quia aliqui scilicet qui erant pro parte cardinalis de Ursinis clamabant pro romano in vico suo, et familia cardinalis S. Petri et de sequela sua idem petebant romanum. Et in vico D. Florentini et cardinalis Mediolani clamabant pro italiano. Sed Sede in supplicationibus romanorum petebant romanum vel italianum. Et vidit iste quod ipse fuit presens quum intraverunt cardinales conclave, quod post ingressum tota illa nocte clamabant, "Romanum volumus vel italicum ad minus." Et rumperunt etiam portas muratas et inondaverunt celarium ubi erat vinum et per totum, excepto conclave.
Orsini, of course, was not uninterested in becoming pope himself, and the fact that a Colonna [Bishop Agapito Colonna] was deeply involved with the Roman Officiales in the conspiracy would naturally have stirred him to take countermeasures. The Orsini normally controlled the entire area around Saint Peter's and the Castel S. Angelo, and indeed earlier in the century, when Cardinal Napoleone Orsini was Archpriest, they controlled the Basilica as well. (Ferreto de' Ferreti, Le opere de Ferreto de' Ferreti I, p. 156 ed. C. Cippola; Robert Brentano, Rome Before Avignon, p.188). The replacement of the Church officials who had custody of the Borgo with agents of the City was certainly a challenge to Orsini control over the conclave area. The Count of Nola, after all, was an Orsini.
Who was this Archbishop of Bari? According to Theoderic of Nyem, who was an Auditor and Scriptor in the papal Chancery and immediate subordinate of Bartholomeo, Bartholomeo Prignano was short, fat and sixtyish. He had been Archbishop of Bari for less than a year (January 13, 1377), and, so far as is known, never visited his See. Neither had he visited his previous See, the impoverished archbishopric of Acerenza (tunc erat pauper archiepiscopus), which he had obtained from Urban V on March 22, 1363. As he himself stated, he had been at the Curia both in Avignon and Italy for fourteen years with the title of Auditor, and Theoderic says, "Fuit enim per plures annos examinator in graciis specialibus necnon presidens in cancellaria predicta et documenta que fieri solent circa literas apostolicas recepit." Very obviously his career was stalled. He was chaplain of Cardinal Pierre de Monteruc of Limoges, the Vice-Chancellor, who treated him like a servant. When Pope Gregory moved to Italy, Bartholomeo went along, but only as locumtenens Domini Vicecancellaris (Baronius-Raynaldi p. 311; Baumgarten, Von der Apostolischen Kanzlei, p. 108-109). He is said by Theodore of Nyem (de scismate I. 1, p. 9) to have been Decretorum Doctor. Moreover, a document adduced by Giangiuseppe Origlia (Istoria dello studio di Napoli I , 202) refers to him as Bartholomeo Prignano de Neapoli decretorum doctor Studii Neapolitani Rectore. The document quoted is not the original, however, but is found embedded in another document dated to 1388; it refers to the building of the church of S. Sofia in 1360 after a plague, and Bartholomeo is a witness to that earlier document. The duty of the Rector of the University of Naples, who was to be resident at the studium, was 'la cura d' invigilare al buon ordine ... massime per lo tempo delle lezioni.'
At the same time that the Roman Officials were conspiring to elect an Italian or a Roman pope, there were other consultations in progress. Several cardinals met with Cardinal Tebaldeschi, the Cardinal of St. Peter's, to discuss his possible candidacy. The Cardinal's domestic, Fredus de Cavali, gave a deposition in which he revealed the comings and goings at Cardinal Tebaldeschi's house (Gayet I, 37-38):
dixit quod iste testis vivebat et erat domesticus D. cardinalis de S. Petro [Francesco Tebaldeschi], et post obitum D. Gregorii papae [March 27, 1378] veniebat D. Gebennensis cardinalis [Robert of Geneva]. Veniebat ad hospitium D. Cardinalis de S. Petro, et scivit a certo quod dicebat sibi quod acceptaret papatum, nam ipse et D. de Luna et D. de Britania [Hugo de Montelegum (Hugues de Montelais)] isti tres darent voces suas sibi. Tamen, si non haberet sufficientem numerum, quod placeret sibi dare vocem suam dicto Gebennensi. Et prima vice, venerunt ille Gebennensis et de Luna, et alia vice venerunt predicti duo, et cardinalis de Britania. Et Dominus de S. Petro habuit consilium cum Florentino [Pietro Corsini], et videbatur sibi quod esset cavillatio ad habendum ultramontanum, et noluit acquiescere eis, ymo dixit quod nunquam daret vocem nisi quum esset in conclavi.
Cardinal Robert of Geneva called on Cardinal Tebaldeschi and suggested that the latter ought to be pope; he himself and Cardinal de Luna and Cardinal de Montelais would vote for him. If however (according to the domesticus Fredus) they could not get sufficient votes for Tebaldeschi, Robert asked that Tebaldeschi vote for him. Tebaldeschi also had a consultation with Cardinal Corsini, and it appeared that there was a problem about having an Ultramontane and that Corsini did not want to go along with Tebaldeschi's supporters for Robert of Geneva. In fact he said that he would never reveal his voting preference except in Conclave. It would appear, then, that the Cardinal of St. Peter's had four votes in his favor—only one of whom (Corsini) seems to have followed through. This story, however, must be treated with great caution; Fredus got a job in the papal court as Urban's doorkeeper after Tebaldeschi's death, and it may be that loyalty to his new master influences his narrative, which appears to make Robert of Geneva ambitious for the Papal Throne from before the beginning of the Conclave.
It is said (Tommaso de Amanatis) that Pope Gregory was planning in the very year in which he died to transfer the papacy back to Avignon. This is confirmed by the deposition of Bishop Thomas de Acerno, who says that Gregory intended to depart just after Easter, 1378. He planned to spend the summer in Anagni, and then visit Naples, where he would take ship for France. Pope Gregory began to be ill, however, around the beginning of February, 1378 (Tommaso de Amanatis). Niccolo della Tuccia, in the Cronaca di Viterbo [p. 38 ed. Ciampi (1872)] says that he died of scorrezione d' urina.
Immediately after the death of the Pope, the Cardinals met at the Church of S. Spirito in Sassia (convenient to the Vatican Palace and still in the Borgo, not in the City; Cardinal de Montelais lived in the Piazza San Pietro, and Cardinal Pierre de Vergne only a block away from the Church; Cardinal de Luna lived at S. Apollinaire near Piazza Navona; Cardinal Lagier at Santa Cecilia). Their purpose was undoubtedly to plan the funeral of the Pope and make immediate arrangements for security. But their meeting was visited by the Officials of the City of Rome, the Bandarenses, and the Capita Regionum, who demanded that the Cardinals elect a Roman, or at least an Italian. The stated purpose of the Romans was the retention of the Papacy and Curia in Rome. They demanded promises from the Cardinals that they would comply, and threatened the Cardinals with the wrath of the people if they did otherwise (Ambassador Conrad Heinrich, § 2 ). The Cardinals refused to make such an uncanonical promise, and pointed out to the officials that their conduct might produce the opposite effect from what they intended by vitiating the election [Oratio facta ad Caesarem per Dominum Raymundum Bernardi],
The burial of Pope Gregory and the ceremonies of the Novendiales took place at the Church of S. Maria Nova (now S. Francesca Romana). It had once been Gregory's titular church and he had lavished attention on it, especially with works in the Cloister. It was there that the Officiales of the City met with the Cardinals again, according to the testimony of the Bishop of Castro, Giovanni Chambaruti, OFM:
Et postquam corpus pape Gregorii fuerit in Sancta Maria Nova, ex parte consilii capitolii veniebant bandarenses et alii ambaxiatores ad DD. Cardinales qui cotidie erant in mane ibi in missis usque ad novenam, sicut debent quando papa moritur et ita aliquando predicti romani erant importuni, quia vis permitebant predictos DD. perficere officium sicut debebant et ingrediebantur in claustro in una capella, et predicti ambaxiatores ex parte populi romani cum eis, et cotidie petebant romanum vel italicum, et fiebat per modum supplicationis et semper tamen concludebant, quod si hoc non fieret timebant ne oriretur magnum scandalum et immineret predictis cardinalibus periculum magnum, quia populus petebat et volebat quod eligerent ad voluntatem eorum sicut dictum est; et hoc dixit quia cotidie veviebat in predicto loco de S. Maria Nova ubi erat corpus, et aliquando celebrabat sicut perlati faciunt et cardinales pro papa mortuo, et videbat predictos DD. cum romanis intrare in conciliis et dixit quod petebat ab aliquibus de DD. cardinalibus de illis conciliis et quid romani petebant et predicti DD dixerunt ei sicut dictum est superius. Et predicti DD. dicebant eis et rogabant ut non impedirent electionem et quod starent in pace et permitterent eos facere, quia ipse intendebant eligere sicut Deus daret eis gratiam et de jure debebant; quod si aliter fieret posset oriri magnum scandalum et fieri scisma in ecclesia Dei.
The Officiales Urbis introduced into the City people from the mountainous and rural regions of the County of Rome (Campania), and organized them into a band which was led by Franciscus de Aquillaria (Report of Rodrigo Bernardi). They also ordered the nobility of Rome, including officials of the Church, to leave the City (Deposition of Cardinal Atgerius §2). Luca Savelli and the Count of Fondi (Onorato Caetani, a descendant of Pope Boniface VIII and son-in-law of King Alfonso IV of Aragon), with the cooperation of Gregory XI's ministers, had attempted to rein in the power which the Bandarenses had and were trying to increase (VItelli II, 328-329), and this expulsion was both 'payback' on the part of the Romans, and a precaution to ensure that the officials of the Roman people were not interfered with in their plot. Likewise, the Officiales wanted at any cost to prevent the Cardinals, and in particular the French cardinals, from withdrawing from Rome altogether and holding the Conclave in some other place more favorable to their own personal security and freedom of action. As Rector of the Campagna of Rome and Marshal of the Holy Roman church, the Count of Fondi would have had a major role to play in assuring the safety of the Conclave (as, in the event, he did when he assured that the Cardinals could elect an alternative to Urban-Prignano at Fondi in September). Caetani was also a hereditary enemy of the Colonna, whose leader, Bishop Agapito Colonna, was deeply involved in advising and stirring up the Bandarenses. Caetani's associate and fellow noble was the Conte di Nola, Niccolò Orsini, who was the brother of Cardinal Orsini and uncle of the Counts of Soana, Gudione and Bertoldo (E. Ricca, La nobilità del regno delle due Sicilie I, 471; P. Adinolfi, La via sacra o del papa, p. 93 n.2). The Cardinals demanded the return of the nobles to Rome, and were refused. The Officiales Urbis also demanded the keys to the gates and bridges of the City, which were, in the Sede Vacante, under the control of the Camerlengo. When Archbishop Cros, the Camerlengo, refused to surrender them, the keys were taken by force, and the gates and bridges were closed and kept under the control of the officials of the city. Security, in other words, had passed from the control of the Cardinals into the hands of the Officiales Urbis who were threatening them. Archbishop Thomas de Amanatis observed:
Item, verum est quod romani post mortem D. Gregorii, et antequam DD. cardinales ingrederentur conclave receperunt ad se custodiam pontium et portarum Urbis, quae prius erat ad manus officialium papae. Vidi enim in ponte S. Angeli vicino domui habitationis meae et in pluribus portis Urbis juxta quas aut per quas visitando ecclesias pertransibam, fieri et teneri munitiones magnas per romanos et gentes eorum, aliter quam ante vidissem. Ymo referebant communiter quod romani hoc faciebant ne DD. cardinalibus pateret recessus ab Urbe, nec eis liceret gentes aliquas introducere pro ipsorum securitate.
Access to the area of the Conclave would be regulated by the Officiales Urbis. As Cardinal Noellet put it in his responses to questions of the Aragonese ambassadors, " receperunt claves portalium et pontium Urbis ab Officialibus ecclesie, ut libere populus posset ad burgum S. Petri et ad papatium apostolicum, ubi erat conclave, venire, et ne cardinales possent exire Urbem quousque fecissent electionem quam petebant. Et de hoc erat fama communis quod ad predictum finem faciebant." The Officiales Urbis, in accordance with the Constitution of Gregory X ubi periculum, took the oath which was normally taken by the Conclave officials and by the officials of the host city to protect the Cardinals and the integrity of the Conclave from all forms of violence and intimidation, and to keep the Vatican and the Borgo free of unauthorized persons. They were perjuring themselves before the fact.
Of the twenty-one Cardinals who had been alive at the time of the Conclave of 1372, twelve (including Gregory XI) had died. Gregory XI had appointed a total of twenty-one cardinals [Eubel I, 21-22 and n. 8], of whom six preceded Gregory to the grave. There were therefore twenty-three Cardinals. Sixteen Cardinals took part in the Conclave (Gayet I, "Pièces justificatives," p. 148). A list of the cardinals is given by the Cardinals themselves in a letter of July 20, 1378 [Baronius-Raynaldi, sub anno 1378, no. XL, p. 328]. Another list is given in his Deposition by the Custodian of the Conclave, Stephanus Pelosii, Bishop of Todi (Gayet I, "Pièces justificatives," p.46 §7). Another list is given in the 'Casus' or 'Factum' of Urban VI (Baronius-Raynaldus, sub anno 1378, no. lxxiii, p. 348). A list of the Cardinals is given by Theoderic [Dietrich] of Niem, De schismate, Book I, 1. Only three of the Cardinals who took part in the Conclave in April had taken part in the Conclave of 1370 (Aigrefeuille, Tebaldeschi, and Corsini). Cardinal Aigrefeuille had also taken part in the Conclave of 1362.
Nine of the sixteen cardinals, including all of the Cardinal Deacons, had degrees in Canon Law or Civil Law or both, and two of them had taught the subject. When Jean de la Grange arrived in Rome on April 24, 1378, there were ten. They needed no assistance to determine the canonical validity of a papal election. Neither were the Cardinals in Avignon without expertise: four of them were doctors in Canon Law.
Six cardinals who were in Avignon at the time of the Pope's death did not participate in the Conclave of April, 1378. A seventh, Jean de la Grange, was Papal Legate in central Italy, where he was working on the final stages of a treaty with Florence.
The term 'anticardinales' is used in the First Life of Clement VII [Baluzius I, 489] and the Second Life of Gregory XI [Baluzius I, 478], where it is used of Urban's cardinals. It is also used of Urban's cardinals by Raymond Bernardi, Doctor in utroque iure, in his Oratio facta ad Caesarem, of August 21, 1383. It was used by Conrad Heinrich, the Imperial ambassador, in his testimony of 1387. Cardinal de Luna, writing as Benedict XIII, uses anticardinales in a letter to King Martin of Aragon in 1408 [Döllinger, Beiträge II, 361]. It was certainly a contemporary term. The term 'antipapa' was a thoroughly familiar one [Thomas of Acerno, in Rerum Italicum Scriptores III.2, column 724; Gobelinus Persona, e.g. Cosmidromius VI. 81, p. 120].Cardinals attending:
The Senator of Rome was Guido de Proinis [Pruinis] [Vitale II, 333-335; Baluzius I, 1228-1230], a Frenchman, perhaps from the neighborhood of Cahors, and member of the entourage of Gregory XI (according to Petrus Amalii). He was apparently succeeded immediately after the Conclave by Tommaso de Santo Severino, a favorite of Urban VI, who also named him to replace Onorato Caetani, the Count of Fondi, as Rector of the Campagna. The Custodian of the Conclave, appointed by the Romans, was one Nardo, an apothecary, who was one of the Bandarenses of the City. The Four Constables, appointed by the Romans, were Giovanni Cenci (who was the current Chancellor of the People of Rome, and later Senator), Buchius Petri Jacobi, Lorenzo Sanguino (Regio Pontis) and Fulgi (Regio Montium) [Deposition of Buchius]. The Marshal of the Roman People was Paulus [Deposition of Conrad Heinrich, Imperial Ambassador]
Several cardinals, including Noellet and Vernhio, were visited privately by representatives of the Roman people. In Noellet's case it was Johannes Cenci, who told Noellet that if the Cardinals did not vote for a Roman or an Italian the people would go out of control and there would be dampnum et periculum irremediabile. Just before the Conclave began, Vernhio was visited by Bartholomeo Prignano and Bartolomeo de Zabriciis, who warned him to vote for a Roman or at least an Italian, or the people would be so angry that the cardinals would face death. From this incident alone it is clear that the Bartholomei were no observers on the sidelines, but participants. Zabriciis, it should be noted, is a favorite source for the narrative of Rainaldi—hardly an impartial source, rather a ringleader. Cardinal Lagier, too, was visited by three Romans, deputed to threaten him; they came upon him as he was leaving the church after Mass on the Sunday after the death of Pope Gregory, March 28, and the spectacle was attended by a crowd of Romans, as many as three hundred according to Didacus Martini:
ipsi Romani miserunt ad me in domo S. Ceciliae tres Romanos ad similes requisitiones faciendas cum minis; quibus dixi quod sicut fuerit eis pluries dictum: quod ipsi intendentes perpetuare Curiam in Urbe expellebant eam, quia ille qui eligeretur sic non esset papa propter impressionem; quia oportet quod verus papa eligatur pure, sincere, gratuite omnino, sine populari et militari tumultu; ipsi autem volunt habere cum minis, quidquid eis dicatur, et sic habitus non erit papa. Ipsi tamen tunc pejora comminando dicebant. Et audivi quod similes requisitiones faciebant aliis. Hoc tamen sciunt ipsi.
[This incident at S. Cecilia in Trastevere was witnessed by Didacus Martini de Urduna, Canon of Toledo, who gave a deposition.]
The 'casus' of Urban VI [Baronius-Reynaldi, sub anno 1378, lxxix] alleges that the five cardinals of the Limousin party [Lemovicensis [Jean de Cros], [Guillaume] de Agrifolio, Pictaviensis [Guido de Malosicco (Guy de Malsec)], Majoris-Monasterii [Geraldus de Podio (Gérard du Puy), OSBClun.] and [Petrus] de Vernio were agreed on the candidacy of Guy de Malsec, a relative of both the Limousin popes; but when they were told that this candidacy could not be successful, they changed to Cardinal Pierre de Sortenac [Vivariensis]. Cardinal de Luna testified that two or three days before the opening of the Conclave, a majority of the College were decided on Cardinal de Sortenac—information he got from Cardinal de Agrifolio. He also testified that he believed that what they did as far as Bartolomeo Prignano was concerned, they arranged in case they were compelled by the Romans. They did have, however, as he believed, the intention of electing a cardinal, if it were a free election. Five other cardinals (Glandacensis [Bertrandus Atgerius], de Britannia [Hugues de Montelais], Gebennensis [Robert of Geneva], et S. Eustachii [Pierre Flandrin], and Pedro de Luna), or so it is said by the composer of the Urbanite document, preferred another candidate, and Cardinal Orsini appeared to agree with them. The three Italians, leaving aside Orsini himself, wanted an Italian. Cardinal Bertrandus Atgerius himself stated that, before he entered Conclave, he had in mind to elect an Ultramontane, as did Cardinal de Agrifolio and Cardinal de Vernio (Baluzius I, 1002). Cardinal Lemovicensis (de Cros) stated in his deposition that, until the hour of the election, he had not the least idea of electing Bartholomeo Prignano; it was the shouting of the Romans and the fear of death (metus mortis) that made him name Prignano (Baluzius, I, 1003).
This was exactly the plan of the Roman government, as Rodrigo Bernardi, the Ambassador of King Juan of Castile, discovered by interrogating a number of Romans (Gayet I, 138):
Et fuerunt interrogati aliqui romani utrum ex talibus actibus debueret causari metus mortis in mentibus cardinalium existentium in conclavi. Et ipsi testes sub juramento dixerunt quod sine dubio omnis debuerunt periculum mortis timere, et causa metus fuit causata in mente cujuslibet hominis discreti, et quilibet rationabiliter et probabiliter timere debuit periculum personae, nisi fuisset fatuus. Sed erat diversiter in vocibus romanorum, nam illi qui erant de sequela D. cardinalis S. Petri et de Ursinis clamabant pro romano, sed illi qui sequebantur vota populi romani petebant romanum vel ytalicum ad minus, quia populus contentabatur de romano vel ytalico, ad finem quod curia permaneret apud partes Ytaliae. Et similis variatio fuit hora qua DD. cardinales intraverunt conclave, licet in vico DD. cardinalium ytalicorum frequentius petebant ytalicum quam romanum.
On the day that the Conclave was expected to begin, April 6, an unforeseeable event occurred. That morning, the Cardinals were attending the last of the Novendiales Masses in Santa Maria Nova, when a storm came up. A lightning bolt hit the papal palace, and caused damage to the cell which had been assigned to Cardinal de Luna. The Cardinals asked the Bandarenses and other officials of Rome, who had seized control of the Papal Palace, for an extra day to put things in order in the Conclave area, and the request was granted only with the greatest reluctance. The opening of the Conclave was then set for the afternoon of April 7. Cardinal Guillaume Noellet comments on the event (Baluzius I, 1398):
Item postquam fuit decima dies ad intrandum conclave, cum essent ad exequias in dicta Ecclesia sanctae Mariae, fuit aliqua aeris mutatio, et cecidit fulgur in conclave in loco ubi erat algia Domini de Luna. Et ex isto, et quia non erant bene dispositi, petierunt a Bandarensibus et ab aillis majoribus urbis diem usque in crastinum ad intrandum conclave, et ipsi cum magna difficultate concesserunt sibi.
According to an unnamed eyewitness who was in the company of the Roman custodians of the Conclave, one of the Romans who were speaking to the Cardinals as they entered conclave stated that the Cardinals "should give them a Roman or at least an Italian, or they would all be killed out of outrage." The same witness reckoned that there were at least 1,000 armed men in the Piazza S. Pietro at the time.
Another eyewitness was the German Johannes Volcardi, Master of the Chapel of Urban VI. Like Nicolas Eymeric he also had his valuables carried to a safe place on the morning of April 8, in anticipation of trouble. He remarked at the large numbers of armed men in St. Peter's Square both on April 7 and on April 8:
Item dixit quod vidit alia die et hora qua intraverunt cardinales conclave quamplures gentes armorum congregatas in platea S. Petri et prope palatium clamabant quod romanum vel italicum volebant. Et sequenti die ipse timens commotionem populi, summo mane misit bona sua mobilia que habebat in domo ad quamdam turrim, et fecit ibi poni victualia pro aliquibus diebus et post ivit ad ecclesiam S. Petri, et vidit plures armatos venire versus palatium et juvenes clamabant: Romanum volumus o alo manco italiano. Et ipse habuit timorem et ibat versus turrim ubi se debebat reponere, et cum transiret per plateam S. Petri oviavit aliis gentibus armatis qui simile ibant versus palatium et aliqui illorum dicebant: quod romanum vel italicum haberent ista vice alias omnis essent occisi, et jurabant per la clavelato de Dio. Et tanta erat multitudo gentium quod vix poterat transire et ivit cum magno timore ad turrim ubi se deberet salvare, et stetit ibi per spatium aliquid; postea fuit fama quod cardinalis S. Petri fuisset electus.
The Conclave opened in the late afternoon of April 7 according to the testimony of several witnesses; it was between Nones and Vespers according to Frater Peter de Guadalfajara who was present (Baluzius I, 1033):
Dies qua Cardinales intraverunt conclave erat dies Mercurii, quasi inter Nonam et Vesperes vel hora Vesperorum, Et ego intravi dictum conclave ad videndum ordinationem ipsius. Et quando volui exire, vidi quod introducebatur Cardinalis Sancti Petri in bracchiis, quia erat gutosus.
On the evening of April 7, after the Conclave had begun, at what Cardinal Guy de Malsec (§ 6) called "hora nimis tarda", the Officiales of the Romans came to the Conclave and demanded a meeting with the Cardinals. This was exactly the sort of behavior that the Constitution of Pope Gregory X, Ubi Periculum sought to prevent. But the Romans would not be put off, and the Cardinals, fearing that the Officiales would enter against the will of the Cardinals, granted permission. The Roman officials repeated the same statements that they had made daily in the chapel of the Cloister at Santa Maria Nova, and privately to each cardinal during the Novendiales, that they wanted the Cardinals to elect a Roman, or at least an Italian, and now they demanded an undertaking of the Cardinals to do so. If the Cardinals did not do so, such was the mood of the Roman people, they said, that they were in grave and unavoidable peril to their persons. The Cardinals refused to make any such promises demanded by the Officiales, and managed to get the Roman Officials to leave the Conclave. The Officials had been warned in pre-conclave meetings, by their own clerical advisors as well as by the Cardinals, that these efforts at intimidation would invalidate the otherwise valid election of a pope, but they persisted. The rules, therefore, had been stated in advance, and the consequences were known to all in advance. It is difficult to see why the Officials chose to visit the Conclave after it had been enclosed, seeing that their points had already been made to the Cardinals jointly and severally, unless it was to show the Cardinals that they were not in fact secure and guarded, but that they could be intruded upon at any time. This raised the temperature of intimidation.
In any event, the men who intruded into the Conclave brought excommunication on themselves. The Constitution of Pope Gregory X, ubi majus (Mansi, Vol. 24  82), states clearly:
Quod (servato libero ad secretam cameram aditu) ita claudatur undique, ut nullus illuc intrare valeat vel exire; nulli ad eosdem cardinales aditus pateat, vel facultas secrete loquendi cum eis: nec ipsi aliquos ad se venientes admittant, nisi eos, qui de voluntate omnium cardinalium inibi praesentium, pro iis tantum, quae ad electionis instantis negotiam pertinent, vocarentur. Nulli etiam fas sit, ipsis cardinalibus vel eorum alicui nuncium mittere vel scripturam. Qui vero contra fecerit, scripturam mittendo vel nuncium, aut cum aliquo ipsorum secreto loquendo: ipso facto sententiam excommunicationis incurrat.
The reports of many witnesses is that there was nothing new to communicate with the Cardinals, either on Wednesday night, April 7, or on the morning of Thursday, April 8; the urgent request for an audience on the part of the Bandarenses and Officiales was a dolus, a trick, so that more fear could be induced in the cardinals to procure the election of a Roman or at least an Italian. These actions, then, were a violation of Gregory's constitution.
During the night, the crowds did not depart, but remained in the Piazza and in the area surrounding the Papal Palace. They continued their chanting, which prevented most of the Cardinals from getting any sleep. In addition some of the mob broke into the cellars of the palace and helped themselves to the wine stored there. The mob only became louder and more dangerous. This was witnessed by Buchius Petri Jacobi, who was one of the four constables appointed by the Romans to supervise the Conclave (Gayet I, 31-34):
Et iste testis cum aliis intravit conclave de sero cum aliis hominibus romanorum, et dixit iste cardinalibus: quod omnis supplicabant sibi, quod darent isti populo papam romanum vel italicum, et satisfacerunt eis, alias timebant populares taliter dispositos, quod isti custodes non possent proficere cardinalibus, nec cardinales sibi et omnis nichil facerent, nisi facerent ad voluntatem populi. Et tota illa nocte, clamaverunt iste gentes pro papa romano vel italico, nam ipsi bibebant de illo bono vino, et non poetrant tacere, et ex alia parte fundebant vinum. Ita, sequenti die de mane, similiter inceperunt clamare: "Romano lo volemo a alomanco italiano, licet pauci dicerent de italiano, nam predictus Fichus domini Fuchi qui erat de raubis D. Jacobi de Ursinis, et multi alii de ejus sequela, volebant quod ille dictus cardinalis fuisset papa, et suadebant quod pro rumore clamarent. Sed illi, qui sequebantur voluntatem populi Romani clamabant pro romano vel italico, quia sufficiebat quod esset italicus.
At sunrise on the morning of April 8, 1378, two masses were sung for the sixteen Cardinals in Conclave, one of them being the Mass of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the second Mass, the bells of St. Peter's began to ring, not with the usual clapper, but with a quickly striking hammer. This was a call for the rising of the Roman people in an emergency. In fact, the Campanile, which was immediately next to the Apostolic Palace, had been broken into by the leaders of the people, on orders of the Bandarenses, after the Canons of St. Peter refused to surrender the keys. It was the Romans who were ringing the bell. (Testimony of Joannes de Paparonibus, Canon of St. Peter's):
Post ista vidit quod venerunt duo romani ad canonicos S. Petri, cum quibus iste venit, dicentes se venire de parte Bandarensium, et petierunt ab illis quod darent seu traderent sibi claves portarum campanilis, quia volebant pulsare campanam ad martellum, nam cardinales nolebant dare populo romano papam romanorum seu italicum. Et iste et alii canonici responderunt sibi quod non traderent sibi claves. Tunc illi seponentes se ab illis canonicis fregerunt portas campanilis et sonaverunt campanam ad martellum. Et hoc fuit quasi hora missarum prime. Sed postea venerunt Bandarenses aliqui. Increpaverunt illos quod sic pulsarent campanam.
The situation outside the conclave at this time was described by Tommaso de Amanatis in his sworn deposition. As soon as it was dawn he sent his knight John Hyllisheym to Bartolomeo Prignano, who was living near his own house, to ask him where he was going to celebrate the usual Mass of the Holy Spirit for the prelates present in Rome. Bartolomeo replied that he was not the senior Curialis; that was Jacobus de Itro, and he was going to celebrate in St. Peter's Basilica. Frater Angelus de Spoleto was going to preach the sermon. After celebrating his own private mass, Tommaso de Amanatis got on his horse and rode toward St. Peter's in the early morning light. On the way he met a terrified nobleman, Malatesta of Ancona, who advised him that armed crowds were filling the Piazza San Pietro, summoned by the bell of the campanile of St. Peter's :
Sed in crastinum summo mane recordatus fui moris esse antiqui juris consentanei, quod DD. cardinalibus existentibus in conclavi, singulis diebus, prelati omnis in curia tunc existentibus, in aliqua ecclesia conveniant, et ibi per unum ex eis dicatur Missa Spiritus Sancti, et inter ipsius Missae solemnia fiat sermo ad clerum per ipsum celebrantem vel alium ad hoc deputatum. Bene illico misi quemdam scutiferum meum vocatum Johannem Hyllisheym de Colonia ad archiepiscopum Barensem, qui satis in vicino domui habitationis meae morabatur, ut michi nuntiaret ubi et per quem debebat coram prelatis predicta Missa Spiritus Sancti celebrari et sermo fieri, et an ipse erat celebraturus dictam Missam utpote prior in ordine aliis prelatis in curia existentibus, qui per dictum scutiferum meum michi respondit: quod ipse non erat prior, quia Patriarcha Constantinopolitanus [Jacobus de Itro] eum precedebat, et ille erat celebraturus dictam Missam in ecclesia S. Petri; sermonem autem erat facturus magister Angelus de Spoleto, Ordinis Minorum. Quo percepto, illico me paravi ad Missam meam secretam domi audiendam, et illa finita, statim ascendi equm et ivi versus ecclesiam S. Petri per viam quam solitus eram facere, et erat tunc recte ortus solis. Antequam autem pervenirem ad palatium S. Petri habui obvium quemdam nobilem michi notum vocatum Malatesta de Ancona, qui illico ut me vidit, ad me properavit, et territus ut in facie ejus legebatur dicit michi haec verba: "Quo vadatis, D. Thomas?" Cui cum dixissem: "Vado ad S. Petrum ad audiendum Missam Spiritus Sancti cum ceteris prelatis." Respondit, "Quomodo? Non audistis campanas S. Petri pulsari ad martellum pro convocatione populi ad rumorem, et populum armatum ad palatium papae currere. Et si vultis advertere audietis etiam campanam capitolii ad strepitum et ad rumorem pulsari." Bene ego ad me reductus, clare auribus meis audivi et percepi, quia satis prope plateam S. Petri eram, dictas campanas S. Petri ad martellam, sicut solitum est in ytalia pro covocatione populi ad rumorem pulsari. Vidi etiam populum cum armis currere ad S. Petrum, et quia in loco satis patente eram, steti atentus et clare audivi campanam capitolii cujus sonus bene est notus per Urbem, etiam similiter pro rumore ad martellum pulsari festinanter. Dixi autem dicto Maleteste: "Quare fiunt ista?" Qui respondit sic: "Ego venio de S. Petro et vidi populum ibi existentem intrare palatium cum magno rumore et omnis clamantes super DD. cardinales, ut omnino in papam eligant romanum vel ytalicum, et quod alias morientur omnis. Ex quo dico vobis quod populus est dispositus quod nisi DD. cardinales cito faciant ad voluntatem populi, pro certo notabile scandalum erit hodie in civitate ista et occisionis et praedae, sed ipsi cardinales erunt primo tacti. Verum consulo vobis quod redeatis ad domum, et non velitis vos in tali rumore reperire, quia et ego domum redeo, ne in medio populi sic furentis existam." Ego igitur, audiens strepitum sic continuum campanarum, videns quia populus sic festinanter ad S. Petrum accedere, secutus monita dicti Maleteste retrocessi, domum regrediens. Misi tamen D. Iohannem scutiferum meum qui bene sciebat linguam italicam et conversationem et notitiam magnam cum pluribus romanis habuerat et habebat ut iret ad palatium et exinde michi referret quid ibi ageretur.
Seeing armed people rushing in the direction of St. Peter's Square, Thomas sensed the trouble that was brewing and, warned by Malatesta, he prudently decided to return home.
As the Cardinals in the chapel were just beginning their proceedings, the Roman Officials compelled the Archbishop of Marseille, Guillaume de la Voulte, who was one of the Custodians of the Conclave, to tell the Cardinals who were in the chapel that the people were demanding a Roman or at least an Italian, and immediately, or else there would be grave peril for them all. Even the Urbanist Stephanus de Pelosii testifies to this, and he was standing next to the Archbishop as his deputy. Three Cardinals had gone to the door of the Conclave to hear the message, the heads of each of the orders of Cardinals: Pietro Corsini for the Bishops, Guillaume de Agrifolio for the Priests, and Giacomo Orsini for the Deacons. One or two sources also names Robert of Geneva, but that is mere maliciousness. The words of the Custodians of the Conclave reported by Cardinal Noellet were, "Domini, expediatis vos cito de eligendo romanum vel italicum, alias et vos et nos sumus in periculo incidendi per frustra. Nos melius vidimus pericula quam vos." After Archbishop de la Voulte's interruption and a reply from the Cardinals, which attempted to temporize but only angered the Romans the more, they went back to business. Cardinal Corsini, as the senior Cardinal Bishop, ought to have given a short speech about the election, but he was so flustered and frightened that he could not (Pedro de Luna Response 14). Cardinal Noellet says that, disturbed by the public tumult, Corsini said merely, "Sermo fugit a me."
Cardinal de Cros, Lemovicensis, gave testimony (Baluzius I, 1217) that, when he went to the window of the Conclave, which would have been during the morning session, he saw Bartolomeo Prignano among the crowd outside the door of the Conclave: "Item, quando erant in conclavi paravit se ad fenestram et vidit illum Barensem inter gentes Romanorum, et quod audivit ab eo quod interfuisset consiliis Romanorum, sed semper suadebat eis ne facerent impressionem Cardinalibus."
According to the Cardinals (Bertrand Atgerius §9), no scrutators were appointed and no written ballot was taken. This was, nonetheless, the via scrutinii, as contrasted to the way of inspiration or the way of compromise.
The first nomination was spoken by Cardinal Corsini, the Cardinal of Florence, who was Cardinal Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina and who was presiding. He named Cardinal Tebaldeschi, the Cardinal of S. Peter's, a Roman. The second nomination was presented by Cardinal Jean de Cros, Bishop of Palestrina, who named Bartolomeo Prignano, Archbishop of Bari, who was not a Cardinal and not a Roman. Cardinal Hughes de Montelais, the Cardinal de Britania, testified:
Dominus de Florentia nominavit Cardinalem Sancti Petri, et Dominus Lemovicensis nominavit illum Barensem, et alii post eum. Et quando venit vox ad istum, noluit eum nominare iste Cardinalis, imo dixit quod non cognoscebant eum sicut ipse.
The Cardinal de Britania also stated that before the Conclave began he never had it in his mind to nominate or consent to the election of Bartolomeo Prignano, and that even in the Conclave he did not name him (non nominavit) because he knew him to be melancholic and hot tempered (melancholicus et furiosus homo) [Baluzius I, 1443]. It is generally agreed that Cardinal Orsini refused to cast any vote whatever in the nominatio and electio on the morning of April 8 (Baluzius I, 1453, citing Cardinals Flandrin and Noellet and Bishops Thomas de Acervo of Lucera and Angelo of Pesauro): Et Dominus de Ursinis dixit quod non daret vocem suam alicui donec esset in libertate. His protest at the lack of liberty in the election, stated at the time of the "first election", is most important. This was NOT a complaint that arose from the cardinals days, weeks, or months later—as the Urbanists mendaciously insist.
And, most unusually, Cardinal Bertrand Lagier, on April 6, during the Novendiales, before the Conclave had even begun, swore out a notarized and witnessed Protestatio (Baluzius II, 815-821), stating that his judgment was that a pope should be chosen from among the Cardinals, not from outside, and that he was decided on naming three Ultramontane cardinals, and that if it turned out that he should nominate any Italian or anyone outside the Sacred College, it should be understood that his vote was being cast out of fear of death and did not represent his proper intent:
si eligeret vel nominaret in Papam aliquem Italicum de extra collegium Dominorum Cardinalium, quod hoc esset metu mortis et omnino contra mentem et propositum ac voluntatem suam, quod nullo modo intendebat nec intenderet unquam consentire in talem sic electum, et quod per illam nominationem vel electionem, si ita dici debebat, non intendebat aliquid illi sic electo acquiri in papatu, nec per quemcunque actum qui inde per eum subsequeretur, sed quando talem nominationem vel electionem faceret, hoc faceret ut aufugeret mortem, quam videbat sibi et aliis Dominis Cardinalibus praeparari.
Cardinal Lagier's statement is additional proof against the Urbanist claim that the Cardinals had decided on the election of Bartholomeo Prignano before the Conclave began. The Urbanists, however, avoid the difficulty by denying that Lagier made a protestatio at all, either before or during the Conclave (Testimony of Giovanni Chambaruti, Bishop of Castro). In a marginal note to the Urbanite casus, presented to the King of Aragon, Cardinal de Luna calls the denial a lie, and affirms that Cardinal Lagier made a protestation in the Conclave after the election of Bartholomaeus Prignano.
The bell of the Capitol at this point began to ring, in the same emergency style, and the armed crowds in the Piazza San Pietro and the area around the Apostolic Palace grew in number. With the arrival of the crowds from every quarter, the chanting of their slogan, "Romano o al meno Ytaliano", grew in volume again. The most specific testimony as to the moment comes from the sworn deposition of Cardinal Pierre de Vergne, who places the ringing of the bell of the Capitol as the vote was proceeding in order through the Cardinal Deacons (Baluzius I, 1117):
Et inceperunt secundum ordinem suum exprimere vota sua. Et cum essent in hoc, audiverunt pulsari campanam capitolii, et interrogarunt ad quid pulsabatur. Et Cardinalis de Ursinis dixit quod nunquam pulsabatur nisi ad rumorem. Et alii dixerunt quod non debebant timere ita cito, nec debebant conqueri, quia adhuc illa erat prima dies.
The brief ('casus') of Joannes de Lignano for the case of Urban VI, though it does deny that there was metus or impressio (fear, intimidation) during the part of the morning session at which Bartholomeo Prignano was apparently elected, nonetheless states states (§ 27 ): "Propter quod Domini plus solito mortis timore timentes in capella secreta se pro majori parte recluserunt, cujus porta statim fuit cum securibus fracta, et intravit populus armatus adhuc clamans ut supra, et omnes Dominos cardinales hinc inde circumdedit." Cardinal Pedro de Luna commented in his manuscript copy of the dossier of evidence on the Schism: "nondum tamen presentatio seu publicatio electionis seu nominationis supradicte facta fuerat nec predictus Barensis intraverat conclave nec ad presentiam DD. cardinalium venerat nec etiam venit de tota illa die." In other words, the election had not been completed. The 'facts' given to Joannes de Lignano so that he could construct a case for Urban VI were in error or were insufficient in detail. It is known, in fact, that Joannes knew only what had been sent him. In 1380 he finally visited Rome, long after he had constructed the first version of his 'factum', and happened to meet Rodrigo Bernardi, the ambassador of the King of Castile, who was secretly taking depositions from those who had knowledge of the events of 1378. Bernardi provided him with material which he had collected for the King, and after he had examined it, Joannes remarked that, based on the evidence that Bernardi had shown him, any youth who had studied law for five years could decided the case, and that the election was coercive and invalid (Baluzius I, 1401-1403),
Tunc respondit dictus Dominus Iohannes quod secundum casum per nos positum, unus juvenis qui audiret jura per quinque annos posset decidere istud dubium. Nam secundum veritatem juris talis electio erat impressiva et invalida, sed secundum casum sibi traditum aliter se res habuit. Nam dicebat quod Domini Cardinales ante ingressum conclavis gerebant in mentibus suis eligere dictum B. et semper habuerunt mentes inclinatas ad eligendum ipsum, quem notum habebant, et reputabant hominem bonae famae, conversationis et vitae, et post ingressum conclavis fuerunt in eodem proposito, et licet rumor aliquis sequeretur, non erat electio impressiva nec invalida, maxime reeligendo iterum ipsum, rumore sedato, dicendo quilibet, "Ego dico idem quod hodie." Et post egressum conclavis, ipsis Cardinalibus existentibus in locis tutissimis, redierunt ad inthronizandum et coronandum ipsum electum, et exhibuerunt reverentiam et obedientiam ut vero Papae. Et dicebat idem Dominus Iohannes quod in istis fundavit tractatum suum si bene advertatur.
Thomas of Acerno, who was an Urbanite, nonetheless also stated the true fact in his deposition; two Cardinals would not vote for Bartolomeo Prignano, and both were Italians (Baluzius I, 1453):
Cum venit electio seu vox ad Diaconos Cardinales, Cardinalis de Ursinis dixit, "Ego hodie non eligam Papam."... Et sic omnes elegerunt eum [Bartholomeum], duobus exceptis, Domino Iacobo de Ursinis, qui noluit eligere, et Domino Florentino, qui elegerat Dominum Sancti Petri.
Cardinal Noellet states that the Archbishop of Bari had only three or four real votes, among them Cardinals de Cros and de Agrifolio. The others were voting in fear, rather than in a state of liberty, and expected that Bartholomeo would refuse the election, and that they could then reconstitute the Conclave elsewhere, where they might conduct a free and canonical election.
The Cardinals, however, were still in a quandary as to how to proceed next. Should they proclaim the election of Bartholomeo Prignano, who was not a Roman, the Roman mob might attack them and kill them. In order to conceal their actions and probably to gain time as well, the Cardinals sent for several prelates, six according to Cardinal Noellet, among them the Archbishop of Bari.
At that point, food for lunch began to arrive from outside the Conclave. In those days it was the custom for the household of each cardinal to prepare his meal and carry it to the gate of the Conclave where food and other necessities were passed inside under the supervision of the Custodians of the Conclave.
The Cardinals returned to the Chapel after lunch, and there was a discussion about holding another vote. Obviously what had been done in the morning session had been done neither unanimiter nor concorditer, in the standard canonical electoral phrase. The Cardinals had spent more than five hours trying to elect a pope in the midst of continual uproar. But this afternoon meeting was no longer the full conclave, which had been broken. Three cardinals had escaped to freedom: Glandatensis (Bertrandus Atgerius, OFM), Majorismonasterii [Geraldus de Podio (Gérard du Puy), OSBClun.], and Pierre de Vernhio. What the remaining cardinals thought they were doing, and with what canonical authority, is a distinct problem. They had already apparently elected a candidate, Bartholomeo Prignano. It was their duty now to await his arrival and see whether he would accept the Papacy. That the remaining cardinals proceeded to another vote casts doubt upon the first vote in the morning. Does this not reflect the real fear, which was actually expressed by Cardinal Orsini and Cardinal Noellet, that the vote had been invalid due to impressio? That was the conclusion drawn by the Inquisitor of Aragon, Nicolas Eymeric, based on his own experiences and investigations (his source for what had transpired inside the conclave was the Dean of Tarazona, who was Cardinal de Luna's conclavist, though he also received information from the Magister Sacri Palatii, Nicolaus de Santo Saturnino and from Petrus de Nuce, auditor of Cardinal de Luna):
cum idem DD. cardinales comedissent, nominatione predicta nondum romanis publicata, et quidam DD. cardinales in capella palatii saepedicti, aliis tribus adhuc ubi comederant residentibus absentibus nec vocatis, tractarent quod noviter eligerent, cum nominationem predictam factam de Barensi archiepiscopo haberent nullam, utpote impressione factam, et diceretur ab eorum quibusdam quod impressio cessaverat, aliis asserentibus quod adhuc perdurabat. Romani informati quod DD. in papam elegerant italicum non romanum, gravius inflamati et amplius quam prius armati, vociferantes, portas conclavis fregerunt dicendo: "Romano lo volemo, romano lo volemo." Quorum metu DD. cardinales omnes ad capellam se retraxerunt precipiter et clauserunt; cujus portas iidem romani cum securibus in frustra illico constinderunt, propter quod idem DD. tunc se esse interficiendos credentes, se mortuos reputarunt.
The flight of three cardinals from the Conclave is certainly evidence to that effect. The proceedings are all the more strange because Archbishop Bartolomeo Prignano was already in the Papal Palace, in the rooms reserved for the pope, on the floor below the Conclave. And yet, he and the cardinals never came face-to-face that day, April 8.
While the remaining Cardinals in the chapel were discussing their second vote, the Roman mob broke into the Conclave and poured into the Chapel. In fear of their lives the Cardinals attempted to flee. Some of the cardinals grabbed Cardinal Tebaldeschi, the Cardinal of St. Peter's, who was a Roman, and told the mob that he had been elected pope. A conclavist of Cardinal Robert of Geneva, it was said, put the papal cappa on his shoulders. Another report (Baluzius I, 1467), from Frater Michael, a monk at the Monastery of S. Bartholomaeus de Lupiana, states: "Cardinales timore perterriti, ut dicebatur, induerunt capam Cardinali Sancti Petri, et dixerunt populo quod erat Papa." Other reports say that it was the Romans who put the mantle on Cardinal Tebaldeschi. Frater Petrus of Cordova, a monk of the monastery of S. Bartholomeo de Lupiana gave testimony as follows, that he had heard (Baluzius I, 1469):
quod Cardinales posuerunt eum [Tebaldeschi] in sede, et populus cogebat eum stare in sede, et Cardinalis Majoris monasterii tenebat tunc sibi unam manum inter scapulas et aliam in mitra.
Frater Petrus de Guadalfajara testified that the Cardinals, in fear, took Cardinal Tebaldeschi and put him on a throne with a mitre on his head and said to the populace that he was the Pope:
Cardinales timentes receperunt Cardinalem sancti Petri, et posuerunt eum in sede et mitram in capite, ut dicebatur, et dixerunt populo quod ille erat Papa. Et dictus Cardinalis [Tebaldeschi], quando poterat levare manum, deponebat mitram de capite, et dicebat, "Ego non sum papa." Et populus adorabat eum credens eum esse verum Papam. Sed Cardinalis Majoris monasterii, qui timebat multum Romanos, cum una manu tenebat mitram, et cum alia tenebat eum ut non fugeret
The Cardinal de Britannia, Hughes de Montelais, who, unlike the chatty Spanish monks, was actually present, testified (Baluzius I, 1227):
Postea irruerunt Romani ad frangendum conclave, et quilibet captabat modum fugiendi. Et cum intrassent Romani, unus de Cardinalium dixit quod Cardinalis Sancti Petri esset Papa. Tunc iste Cardinalis assistebat sibi et induit capam et dicebat eidem Domino Sancti Petri quod salvaret fratres suos. Ipse vero nolebat acquiescere. Finaliter cum Romani venirent ad faciendum illi reverentiam, eo invito, iste [Cardinalis de Britannia] recessit ad domum suam, qua nimis prope palatium.
Perhaps the best witness is Stephanus Pelosii, the Bishop of Todi (an Urbanite), who was assistant Custodian of the Conclave. He states in his deposition (Baluzius I, 1467; Gayet II, 50-51):
Audientes et videntes cardinales rumorem populi clamantis una voce: "Mora, Mora," dixerunt ad D. S. Petri, prout audivi; "Si tu non liberas nos, omnis mortui sumus." Et tunc, per violentiam imposuerunt sibi mantum, et intronizaverunt eum in altari, et ibant ad reverentiam ipsius. Et unus cardinalis fecit se ad fenestram, dicens, "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum, quia habemus papam, D. S. Petri." Et in hoc fregerunt murum, et iverunt ad reverentiam ipsius, et ille clamabat, "Ego non sum papa, sed alter est." Et non nominavit personam. Et tunc, aliqui cardinales timentes de ista collusione, exierunt conclave non per portam, et fuerunt per violentiam capti, et cum verbis et verberibus oportuit eos conclave reintrare semivivi. Stantibus istis rumoribus, et dicebatur quod D. S. Petri erat papa. Tamen in populo multi murmurabant, quod vero ego dixi illis prelatis qui erant in camera superiori, et vocatis de mandato collegii, "Vultis venire ad exhibendum reverentiam D. S. Petri?" Illi dixerunt: "Non est tempus, quia nimis est de pressura." Tunc ego dixi, "Ego pro me volo ire." At descendi ad cameram ubi erat D. Barensis, et invemi eum totum solum, quia D. Massilliensis aufugerat, et fuit captus in via juxta castrum S. Angeli. Et dixi D. Barensi: "Vis venire ad reverentiam D. S. Petri?" Et ille dixit: "Vadamus." Et tunc ipse et ego volentes exire cameram ubi nunc jacet ipse, et eramus quasi in hostio, supervenit frater meus consobrinus, nomine Petrus de Veneraneriis, qui ista viderat et dixit: "Non vadatis, quia est ibi tanta pressura quod nemo potest intrare." Et tunc volvit se ad me et dixit, "Quid faciemus?" Et dixi, "Reintremus cameram, et expectemus momentum." Atque ego onorabam eum tantum credens michi ipsum habere propitium atque gratum.
Stephanus Pelosii is the only witness, however, who states that a Cardinal made the traditional announcement, "Habemus Papam," and that this cardinal named the Cardinal of St. Peter's as pope. He may well be embellishing his story at various points. None of the legists makes mention of this point, and it would have been a very important matter for all concerned in the validity of the election of a pope on April 8 or April 9, 1378. If the Cardinal of St. Peter's had been announced as pope, then the proceedings earlier in the day would not have been a completed election. Could this announcement be construed as an accessio? Surely it was not, but the incident nonetheless placed an even darker cloud over the validity of the "election" in the morning—which had not been announced to Bartholomeo Prignano, and to which he had not responded.
Five of the Cardinals, Noellet, de Agrifolio, Pictavensis (Guy de Malsec), Vivariensis (Pierre de Sortenac) and de Vernhio escaped from the Conclave and made their way by a side window to the apartment of the Chamberlain on the floor below. They attempted an escape from the Palace by way of the gate near the privy, but they were apprehended by the Romans and led back to the Palace, harassed cum verbis et forte cum verberibus.
Three additional cardinals attempted to escape in the confusion, Cardinal Gebennensis [Robert of Geneva],. de Britania [Hughes de Montelais] and. S. Eustachii [Pierre Flandrin], but they were taken in hand by the Romans and compelled to return to the chapel where the election was going on. According to Cardinal Noellet, the mob was shouting, "Drown those Cardinals!" as the cardinals were led through the courtyard of the Palace back to the chapel. [Stephen of Todi says that they were Lemovicensis, Pictaviensis, Vivariensis, and de Vergne: Baluzius I, 1065]. While Cardinal de Britania was trying to escape, he was surrounded by Romans, who manhandled and robbed him, while at the same time his house, which was on the Piazza San Pietro, was being ransacked. He finally reached his house, but he was not left in peace; a crowd of Romans followed him. He had to escape out of a window and make his way over the roofs, hiding himself until dark fell, when he made his way to the Castel S. Angelo (Baluzius I, 1143; Britania's story is confirmed by Ioannes Columbi, a priest of Avignon):
cum esset intus, venerunt Romani in magna multitudine armatorum et familiares sui dixerunt isti Domino Cardinali et submiserunt eum per quandam strictam fenestram, et fugit cum uno clerico super tecta domorum, et abscondit se usque ad tenebras, et de nocte transtulti se in Castro Sancti Angeli. Et ipse nolebat venire altera die nisi propter alios Cardinales, et quia non poterat aliud facere.
A total of eight cardinals out of sixteen had broken conclave and attempted to flee that afternoon after lunch, as the mob besieged the Conclave. It cannot be argued that anything that happened subsequently that afternoon was canonical, especially in the light of five of the cardinals being brought back by physical force—per violentiam capti, as Stephanus Pelosii puts it.
S. Steinherz (599-600) remarks, "Zwei Thatsachen gehen unwiderlegbar aus allen diesen Documenten hervor: dass die Officialen der Stadt und das römische Volk einen starken Druck auf die französischen Cardinäle, welche die grosse Mehrheit des Cardinalcollegiums bildeten, ausgeübt haben, um sie zur Wahl eines Römers oder wenigstens Italieners zu bestimmen; ferner dass der Vatican, in dem das Conclave stattfand, von einer tobenden Volksmenge belagert war, welche auch, nachdem die Wahl Urbans eben vor sich gegangen war, den Palast erstürmt und die Cardinäle am Leben bedroht hat."
Six cardinals hastened to the Castel S. Angelo for protection: Jean de Cros (Lemovicensis, Penestrinus), Guillaume d'Aigrefeuille, Guy de Malsec (Pictaviensis), Hugo de Montelegum (Britannia), Pierre de Sortenac (Vivariensis) and Pierre de Vernio.
Others also retreated to safety: Gebennensis to Castrum Zagaroli, Cardinal de Agrifolio and Cardinal Flandrin (S. Eustachii) to castrum de Vicovario, Cardinalis S. Angeli to castrum Aidae (Ardea, which belonged to the Monastery of S. Paul fuori, whose abbot was an Ultramontane: see Nibbey, Analisi storico topographico I, 231; Tomassetti, 140-141). Others returned to their homes: Florentinus, Majoris monasterii, Mediolanensis, Glandatensis and de Luna.
Even Cardinal Tebaldeschi [the Cardinal of S. Peter's] left the Conclave, according to the eyewitness testimony of the Urbanite Archbishop Stephanus Pelosii:
Post vero D. S. Petri fuit extractus de capella, et portatus ad cameram ubi nunc jacet D. N. Papa. Et ego ivi et obviavi ei quum portabatur, et tunc ille dixit michi: "Domine Tudertine, ego non sum papa, sed alter est, e domini mei cardinales confunderunt me, dirriserunt et vituperaverunt." Tunc dixi: "Domine mi, pro Deo non dicatis, ymo, ipsi hodie imposuerunt coronam capiti vestro, quod per totum mundum predicabitur cum D. S. Petri hodie liberavit fratres suos a tali occasione, hodie liberavit populum suum ab inoxia sanguinis." Et confortavi ipsum in quantum potui, et ipse remansit in camera, et post modicum fecit ad se vocare Dominum nostrum, qui adhuc erat in camera secreta ubi posueram eum, et omnibus de camera recedentibus, stetit cum eo per spatium, et postea fecerunt collationem, et D. S. Petri remansis in palatio illo sero.
Cardinal de Luna noted in the 'Casus' prepared by Joannes de Lignano, that the Archbishop of Bari did not enter the Conclave or present himself to the Cardinals during the entire day of April 8 [Gayet II, "Pièces Justificatives", p. 35 § 22].
When the Conclave was breached by the Roman mob, and news got out that "Baro" had been elected, it was assumed by many that Joannes de Baro, the Subdeacon of the Pope and senior Papal Cubicularius had been elected, rather than the Archbishop of Bari. He was apparently the more familiar name, though he was French and a relative of Clement VI and Gregory XI (Deposition of Frater Petrus de Guadalfaiara: Baluzius I, 1215; Fernandus Petri, Deacon of Tarazona: Baluzius I, 1215-1216; Bonifatius de Amanatis: Baluzius I, 1216).
The Castellan of the Castel S. Angelo mentioned in his testimony (§14) a remark that Bartolomeo Prignano had made to him: B. dixit, "Tu utaris consilio istorum prodictorum et maledictorum lemovicesium. Scias quod ego fui Auditor Cardinalis Pampilonensis [Pierre de Monteruc, a Limousin] Xiiij annis. Nunquam habui ab eo unum bonum verbum. Ymo cum dabat michi aliquam commissionem, non dedignabat vertere faciem ad me, ymo terga facie, quasi mugiendo sicut vitulus, porrigebat michi commissionem. Et certe dubito ne malum eveniat tibi, et forte una dierum romani captivabunt omnis cardinales et majores ultramontanos et ducent eos ante castrum, et decapitabunt. Et tamen toto hoc, oportebit de necessitate quod reddas castrum." Bartolomeo had served for fourteen years as Auditor of the Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, who treated him like a servant. In fact, when the Curia moved to Italy in 1376, Bartholomeo was NOT made Vice-Chancellor, but only locum tenens. Bartholomeo fantasizes that all the ultramontine cardinals are captured and beheaded in front of the Castel S. Angelo.
Cardinal de Luna testified that he heard that some people informed Bartolomeo Prignano that he should not be occupying the papal palace until it had been notified to him that he had been elected pope, and that he ought to leave [De Luna, LV]. It is stated both by the 'Casus' of Urban VI and by Tomasso de Amanatis (§ 32 ) that the part of the election ceremony involving the question of election, "Acceptasne electionem de te canonice factam?", and the reply, "Accepto", which makes a pope a pope, did not take place until late in the afternoon of Friday August 9, and that Bartolomeo Prignano was not treated as pope on August 8 at all, or on August 9 until the evening.
One of the first people of consequence to arrive at the Papal Palace on the morning of April 9 was Conrad Henrich, Dean of Vysehrad, the Imperial Ambassador. He found Bartholomeo with only one cardinal with him, and he presented his compliments. Bartholomeo received him in friendly fashion and promised to do more for his master than the ten previous popes. Bartholomeo then asked where the Cardinals were. The reply was that some had fled to the Castel S. Angelo, some to their homes, and some had fled the City. Bartholomeo boasted that they shouldn't have been afraid, since he had full control over the Romans and that they feared him rather than the reverse. Then he ordered one of his attendants to summon the Cardinals. The Cardinals refused to come out of fear of the Romans. He then ordered the Senator to go to the Romans and tell them that they had to compel the Cardinals in the Castel S. Angelo to come to enthrone him, otherwise the whole affair was negated.
Tunc idem B. iratus dixit, "Non debent timere Romanos, ymo romani timent me. Ego fugavi eos de nocte extra palatium, quod nullus poterat michi resistere neque respondere." Tunc ad quemdam ibidem existentem dixit, "Vadatis ad cardinales qui sunt in castro S. Angeli, quod veniant statim, et ponant me in sede mea, si voluerunt pericula et scandala majora prioribus evitare. Et non timeant romanos, quia romani sunt mecum." Qui abiit et reversus dixit: quod DD. cardinales dicerent quod non auderent venire propter metum romanorum. Tunc idem B. ut furiosus vocavit Senatorem, dicens, "Vadiatis ad Romanos et dicatis eis quod ipsi compellant ipsos cardinales qui fugerunt ad castrum S. Angeli quod veniant et ponent me in sedem papatus, alias nichil est factum, sed ipsi essent delusi et ego cum eis."
Likewise, early in the morning of April 9, Nicolaus Eymeric, the Inquisitor of Aragon, who was a personal friend of Bartolomeo Prignano, went to the Papal Palace to congratulate him. He found entry difficult, since the palace was being guarded, until they explained that they were "papales". he found his friend Barensis in the company of two Italian Cardinals, Corsini and Borsano:
totus letus processit ad palatium apostolicum, causa eidem reverentiam exhibendi. Et juxta palatium invenit idem deponens quemdam Thomam socium et familiarem dicti Barensis, qui causa eadem festinabat, et per iter procedentes invenerunt armatos plures, portas palatii occupantes, et eis exposito quod erant papales, libere intraverunt, et tandem ad eumdem Barensem hic deponens pervenit, quem invenit in domibus superioribus palatii in quodam angulo cujus deambulatorii seorsum, et tantum cum DD. cardinalibus Florentino [PIetro Corsini] et Mediolano [Simon de Borasano]. Et cum idem deponens ad eum accederet ipse Barensis ei gratulans dixit ei: "O bene veneritis inquisitor." Et cum deponens vellet procumbere ad osculandum sibi pedem, ille Barensis dixit ei, "Non, non, nichil est factum adhuc, sed bene osculabor vos." Et osculatus est hunc deponentem.
When Nicolaus tried to kiss Barensis' feet, he restrained him, saying that "Nothing hs been done yet."
Meanwhile, despite what the Urbanists repeat again and again—that it was not until after some weeks of experience of his erratic behavior and his announcement of the reformation of the Cardinals that the the validity of the election of Bartholomeo Pirgnano began to be challenged—the election of Urban was being challenged, even before he was enthroned. On the morning of April 9, the pope-elect sent messengers and the Bandarenses to the Castel S. Angelo to get the six cardinals who were sheltered there to come to the Apostolic Palace.
Cardinal Pierre Flandrin testified to the scene of consternation in the papal apartment when the news came that the Cardinals did not want to leave the safety of the Castel S. Angelo. Bartholomeo ordered the Bandarenses to do something [Baluzius I, 1219]:
Et hoc iste B. mei clare confessus est. Nam in praesentia unius Domini Cardinalis Italici [Florentinus, Pietro Corsini] et plurimum Praelatorum, quando Domini Cardinales nolebant exire de castro nec venire ad ipsum inthronizandum, et antequam esset sibi electio preesentata, ipse vocavit unum prelatum valde sibi domesticum et mandavit ei quod iret ad Bandarenses, et haec sibi exposuit; 'Dicas Bandarensibus quod ipsi adhuc nihil fecerunt nisi cogant istos Cardinales venire ad inthronizandum me.'
Flandrin's testimony repeats what Nicolas Eymeric reported, that Bartholomaeus was saying that nothing was achieved until he was enthroned. It is alleged by the Factum of Urban VI that the Cardinals in the Castel S. Angelo were willing to appoint the five Cardinals at the Papal Palace as their agents in carrying out the enthronement of Bartholomeo Prignano, and that they prepared a document to grant that power (Baronius-Raynaldi VII, sub anno 1378, xc, p. 355). That document would show that the Cardinals in S. Angelo were willing to see Bartholomeo enthroned, but at the same time the document is testimony to the fear of the Cardinals against their Roman oppressors. However, the alleged document was apparently witnessed by Perfetto Malatesta, Abbot of Grottaferrata, who was one of Bartholomeo's warmest supporters, whose presence in the Castel S. Angelo would constitute a major anomaly. And did the Cardinals even have the canonical right to delegate the power to enthrone a pope?
Cardinal Corsini himself remarked more fully on the circumstances of the reluctance of the Cardinals to leave the Castel, naming Bishop Marinus de Judice as the leader of a delegation of the Bandarenses who went to the Castel S. Angelo to require the cardinals who were there to come to the Vatican Palace [Baluzius I, 1220]:
Haec requisitio fuit facta sub ista forma in praesentia mei Portuensis, et fratris Angeli [Feducci da Bibbiena, OFM] Pensaurensis Episcopi, et Domini Thomae [Ammanatis] Nimociensis electi tunc, nunc autem Cardinalis Neapolitanensis, et Domini Bindonis Fesulanensis, capellani mei. Idem Barensis imposuit hanc ambaxiatam Domino Manno [Marinus de Judice] Episcopo Cassanensi: 'Vadatis ad Bandarenses, et dicatis eis quod faciant venire Cardinales qui sunt in castro sancti Angeli: quia nisi venerint, nihil fecerunt.' Qui Cassanensis Episcopus ivit ad dictos Bandarenses cum dicta ambaxiata. Qua eis exposita, ivit ad castrum praedictum cum ipsis Bandarensibus. Et post satis longum temporis intervallam redivit ad palatium sancti Petri, ubi eramus. Et me praestent et testibus superius nominatis dixit et retulit eidem Barensi quomodo sollicitaverat dictos Bandarenses juxta ambaxiatam sibi impositam, et cum eis ad castrum personaliter iverat, et quod iidem Bandarenses requisiverunt Cardinales qui erant in castro quod inde venirent ad palatium.
The Bandarenses and other Romans left the pope-elect and went to the Castel S. Angelo. Those in the Castel S. Angelo were obviously very suspicious and on their guard against the Roman officials. Archbishop Pierre de Cros, the Chamberlain (Camerlengo), who had sought refuge there in the Castel S. Angelo along with the treasure of the Apostolic Camera, remarked in his deposition (Baluzius I, 1443):
Et post venerunt aliqui dicentes quod erant ibi ad portam aliqui Bandarenses et alii Romani et volebant intrare. Tunc iste voluit quod viderent statum suum et qualiter erat munitus, et posuit homines armorum ad unam partem bene munitos, qui erant bene quatuor viginti: et ipse Camerarius habebat unam hacham ferri in manu, et dixit Romanis, quando intraverunt, ista verba: 'Credit ille fatuus quod sit Papa? Certe ego non reputo eum Papam.'
This is confirmed by the deposition of Angelo Feducci, OFM, Bishop of Pesauro, where he testified that Archbishop de Cros had no intention of obeying Bartholomeo, who was just as much Pope as his own ass was:
quia Camerarius Domini Papa misit ad dicendum Domino Barensi quia non intendebat in aliquo obedire sibi et ita modicum ipse erat Papa sicut asinus suus.
Even the Urbanists admit the fact in an odd way. Alvaro, Bishop of the Spanish see of Zamora, was interrogated by the ambassadors of the King of Castile and testified:
dixit se audivisse a Domino Agapito quod quando ipse iverat ad dicendum Cardinalibus quod venirent ad primum electum, exivit ad portam castri sancti Angeli Camerarius cum quadam parva securi in manu, et quod dixerat sibi, 'Quid facit ille stultus? Credit quod est Papa? Ita modicum est Papa sicut ego.' Et dixerat statim sibi frater suus Cardinalis Lemovicensis: 'Tace, quia ipse est verus papa.'
Whether Jean de Cros, the Cardinal of Limoges, ever said the words attributed to him by the Urbanist bishop (allegedly on the authority of Agapito Colonna, one of the ringleaders of the popular Roman party) is doubtful, but the anecdote still testifies to the fact that the legitimacy of Urban's election was already being questioned on the morning of April 9, before he had accepted the papacy or been enthroned. As to Agapito Colonna's pretensions, Stephanus Pelosii, the Bishop of Todi, remarks that he was claiming credit for making Urban pope:
Eodem die [Saturday, April 10, 1378], D. Agapitus [Colonna] redit de Zagarolo, ubi D. Gebennensis [Cardinal Robert of Geneva] erat, et retulit D. N. quomodo D. Gebennensis promiserat omnino nocte sequenti se venturum, et quomodo dixerat sibi: quod iste erat verus papa, et jactabat quoniam ipse fuit causa creationis suae. Et illa nocte D. Agapitus remansit in palatio
Nicholas Eymeric, says that he heard from Fra Bartolomeo Peyroni, OCarm., that when the Pope-Elect and the Bandarenses were leading the cardinals to S. Peter's, Cardinal de Agrifolio privately remarked to Bartolomeo Prignano, "See what you are doing!" Nonetheless Bartolomeo forced them to enthrone him:
audiverat ipse deponens a magistro Bartholomeos Peyroni procuratorem Ordinis Carmelitarum, quod cum die Veneris intronizationis [Friday, April 9, 1378], ipse Barensis ac etiam Banderenses ducerent DD. cardinales ad ecclesiam S. Petri ad intronizandum Barensem eumdem, Dominus de Agrifolio cardinalis secrete ac submisse dicebat eidem Barensi: "Videte quid facitis, videte quid facitis." Quibus non obstantibus ipse Barensis extorsit ab eis quod eum inthronizarent.
There is some suggestion, coming entirely from the Urbanist side, and from documents prepared under Urban's supervision, that there was another election, or perhaps confirmation (consenserunt) of the election, on the afternoon of April 9, before he was asked by the Cardinals for his formal acceptance and before his enthronement. None of the Cardinals alludes to such a proceeding. Even if a fiction, it stands as testimony as to how uncertain Urban was of the validity of the election(s) on April 8 and therefore of his claim on the papal throne.
Perfectus de Malatesta, the Abbot of Grottaferrata (Sistriensis) and VIce-Chancellor of Catalonia, who was the nuncio of Urban VI, told the King of Aragon in a formal public meeting (Gayet I, 54-55; cf. Baluzius I, 1295) that there was another election on April 9, accompanied by oaths from the eleven Cardinals who were present, sworn upon the holy altar, and that Bartolomeo again accepted the Papacy (iterum acceptavit):
Prefati autem DD. cardinales qui erant numero undecim, scilicet, Portuensis, Penestriniensis, de Agrifolio, Mediolanensis, S. Petri, de Britania, Pictavensis, Vivariensis, Majorismonasterii, de Vernio, et de Luna, omnes unanimiter et concorditer responderunt jurantes super altare sacratum: eum libere, sponte et concorditer elegisse et principaliter causa que eos induxisset ad hoc, fuit quod non videbant patrimonium ecclesie sic qusi perditum posse per alium quam per italicum pontifice recuperari et ad majorem cautelam et certitudinem sui et totius mundi ipsi eligabant eum ibidem de novo et sic fecerunt. De qua secunda electione apparent quam plura publica documenta. Tunc ipse D. N. iterum acceptavit indutus per eos capa et mitra aliisque insigniis papalibus super altare intronisaverunt et sibi imposuerunt nomen Urbanus.
The Casus of Urban VI (presented by Francesco Uguccione Bishop of Faenza, and fortified with a papal bull vouching for its authenticity and authority) is less precise, but appears to agree that the six cardinals from the Castel S. Angelo finally come to the Apostolic Palace in the late afternoon of April 9 The Cardinals convened (convenerunt, congregatos) in the smaller chapel of the Papal Palace, and there was a second consensus, after which Bartholomeo was summoned to the chapel by Cardinal de Agrifolio, the senior Cardinal Priest. Bartholomeo was received among them and was seated. The Cardinals required his assent to his election, which he gave, and thereupon he was enthroned:
Et tunc praefati sex Cardinales audientes verba dictorum Senatoris et Officialium fuerant valde consolati, et statim post prandium hora vespertina de dicto castello accesserunt ad dictum palatium, et dictis aliis Cardinalibus qui in dicto palatio erant in cappella, simul convenerunt, ibique in praesentem Barensem tunc archiepiscopum unanimiter et pure consenserunt ut esset Papa, facientes ipsum vocari per Cardinalem de Agrifolio ut ad dictam cappellam accederet. Ipseque electus ad ipsam cappellam accessit ad ipsos Cardinales sic tunc congregatos, per quos tamquam electus in Romanum Pontificem, et in eum tamquam electum consentientes receptus fuit inter eos, ibidemque consedit. Quibus omnibus sic sedentibus Cardinalis Florentinus primus, tunc in ordine, de voluntate aliorum, praemissa quadam authoritate divinae Scripturae, quae incipiebat sic, "Talis decebat, ut nobis esset Pontifex, impollutus etc., " et ejusdem authoritate facta aliquali reductione, et prosecutione, et ipsi electo dicta electione notificata, de voluntate et vice aliorum ipsum electum, quod electioni praedictae consentiret, requisivit. Et tunc idem electus assumpsit et introduxit quamdam aliam authoritatem divina Scriptura, quae sic dicebat: "Timor et tremor venerunt super me et contraxerunt me tenebrae," et cum ipsam authoritatem vellet prosequi et se a tanta honore excusare, dixerunt tunc Cardinales quod prosecutionem ipsius authoritatis pro tunc dimitteret, quia non erat de more quod collationem seu sermonem alium eis faceret juxta morum consuetum, requirendo iterum et instanter, quod consentiret electioni praedictae. Ipse vere electus precibus et instantiis devictus cum tremore et timore praefatae electioni consensit. Et illico praedicti omnes tunc Cardinales cum magna laetitia tunc cantantes, Te Deum Laudamus, et induto per eos ipso electo vestibus papalibus, et dictis orationibus consuetis, servatisque in his singulis solemnitatibus et caeremoniis consuetis, eumdem electum inthronizaverunt, et campana dicti palatii pulstat, fecerunt subsequenter interrogare, quo nomine vellet vocari, et respondens ait: "Urbanus." Et statim praedicti Cardinale seidem fecerunt reverentiam consuetam asculando eum inclinatione magna purpuream suum pallium.
Stephanus Pelosii, a Roman and Bishop of Todi, a supporter of Urban VI, gave additional details of his version of what happened. When the Cardinals finally arrived from the Castel S. Angelo in the afternoon of April 9, they assembled in the Chapel with the others; they had to ask Stephanus to deal with the Officiales of the City to get everyone but the cardinals to leave the chapel except Joannes de Baro the Papal Subdeacon and two clerics of the Chapel. When everyone had been excluded and the doors had been shut, the Cardinals took counsel and decided (as Stephen heard) to enthrone Bartholomaeus. They summoned the Electus, and enthroned him and did him reverence (again, as Stephen heard). This was all done behind closed doors, with only the Cardinals and three others present:
Ipsis venientibus de Castro, se in cappella convenerunt cum aliis, et stantibus omnibus in cappella, cardinales mandaverunt michi quod ordinarem cum officialibus Urbis, et permitterent eos solos stare in cappella, cum D. Johanne de Baro, Subdiacono Papae, et duobus clericis de capella. Et sic factum et ordinatum fuit. Clausis januis, et omnibus aliis exeuntibus de cappella, cardinales tenuerunt consilium, et deliberaverunt, prout audivi, intronizare eum tanquam verum et Dominum nostrum papam. Et per spatium stantibus in cappella, fecerunt D. N. ad se venire, et ipso veniente, et clausis januis cappelle, intronizaverunt et posuerunt eum in altari Te Deum laudamus alta voce cantando, et omnis iverunt, prout audivi, ad reverentiam ipsius, et, hoc facto, janua fuerunt apertae, et totus populus qui potuit et intrare voluit ivit ad reverentiam ipsius. Hoc facto, et populo ad reverentiam eunte, papa in camera sua cum omnibus cardinalibus cum maximo festo et gaudio reintravit, et remansit in camera et cardinales recesserunt.
The letter of the Cardinals which was sent to the other Cardinals at Avignon on April 19, the day after the Coronation, specifically states that the election took place on April 8, not April 9 (Baronius-Raynaldus VII, p. 312). And Urban himself, in his Electoral Manifesto, "Nuper felicis" [Baronius-Raynaldi, xvi p. 310], makes the same statement. In his zeal for his master's cause, Perfectus de Malatesta is caught out in a lie—one of many.
On the Tuesday after the election, April 13, according to Fernandus Petri, Dean of Tarazona and Alvarus Martini, Ambassador of the King of Castile (Baluzius I, 1136-1137), the ten Auditors of the Sacred Palace were going up the stairs that lead from St. Peter's to the Apostolic Palace. They met the Milanese Cardinal de Borsano, who was descending. The Cardinal asked the Auditors were they were going, and they replied that they were going in to do reverence to the Pope. The Cardinal, with a disturbed look on his face and raising his hands, said, "Et cui? O Deus, adjuva Ecclesiam tuam!" and he passed on. In Alvarus' version Borsano added, "Vos vadatis ad idolatrandum." Again, it is apparent that the skepticism as to the validity of Bartholomeo Prignano's election was present in the Cardinals from the beginning, not a result of their later experiences with Bartholomeo's erratic and insulting behavior toward them and others.
Urban was crowned on the steps of St. Peter's with the traditional ceremonies on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1378. All of the cardinals were in attendance. Stephanus Pelosii, Bishop of Todi records:
in die Paschae cum omni solemnitate, ipso celebrante, cardinales in sua Missa affuerunt, et coronaverunt eum cum tiara, et aliis ceremoniis et solemnitatibus, et ipso coronato, tam cardinales quam alii prelati exeuntes in Urbe cum equis coopertis de albo ad S. Johannem equitaverunt, et ibi cum scorariis et aliis ceremoniis posuerunt. Postea cum omnibus istis ad S. Petri palatium redierunt.
On the day of the Coronation, according to an eyewitness, Frater Ferrarius de Vergos, OFM (Baluzius I, 1469), the Cardinals were far from joyful:
habebant facies depressas, et inclinatas ad terram tanquam tristes sicut cum alicui fluit sanguis de naribus, et inter ceteros plus tristis erat Cardinalis Mediolanensis. tamen, quando equitavit, ipsa die coronationis, vidit quod Cardinalis de Ursinis quasi cum vultu hilari dicebat aliquando populo, 'Clamate: Vivat papa.'
After Urban's first public Consistory, the Imperial Ambassador, Conrad Heinrich, happened to be with Urban and the Cardinals when Urban specifically asked Cardinal Robert of Geneva to write to the Emperor and King Wenceslaus, and the other Cardinals to write to the Emperor and their other friends about his canonical election and coronation. Urban would do the same, and the Cardinals should see to it that their letters agreed with his, because he wanted to look at their letters before they were sealed (Gayet II, 174-175):
Post hoc certa die DD. cardinales fuerunt constituti coram dicto B,. et ego cum sociis meis, qui eramus ex parte imperatoris pro facto filii sui, videlicet, pro approbatione romanorum regis. Tunc idem B. dixit alta voce, "Domine Gebennensis [Robert of Geneva], ego volo quod vos scribatis D. imperatori consanguineo vestro et regi Bohemiae ac aliis consanguineis vestris. Et vos etiam, D. Florentine [Pietro Corsini], vos etiam promovens facta D. imperatoris, et vos alii DD. cardinales similiter (quorum multi erant ibi) scribatis D. imperatori et aliis amicis vestris de mea electione et coronationis canonica, et ego scribam similiter. Et videatis quod concordetis mecum, et antequam sigilletis litteras vestras, volo eas videre, si concordant cum litteris meis. Ego expediam istos imperiales et mittam nuntios meos cum eis, et mittam D. imperatori et regi Bohemiae raubas meas et etiam aliis principibus. Et non tardetis cum dictis litteris." Et tunc certi DD. cardinales dixerunt eidem B. quia non erat de more cardinalium scribere electionem romanorum pontificum, nec unquam scripserant prius. Quibus idem B. dixit, "Et si prius non est factum, ego volo quod sic fiat." Tunc post multas altercationes habuit, et inde habitas, DD. cardinales, qui, ut michi apparebat, timentes non audebant contradicere, ab ejus presentia recesserant."
Urban required the Cardinals to write a letter to their colleagues in Avignon (April 19, 1378) and to write letters to various princes announcing his election, enthronement, and coronation. The Cardinals objected that such was not the practice of the Curia, but Urban insisted. According to Cardinal Guy de Malsec, who was speaking later at a synod in Cambrai and answering questions posed by the prelates assembled (Baluzius I, 1106):
B. illas litteras petiit ab omnibus nobis. Responsum fuit ei quod nunquam de more Sacrum Collegium notificat per suas litteras electionem Romani Pontificis Principibus vel aliis, et sic se habet veritas.... Ipse tamen hoc non obstante cum omni instantia eae habere voluit: ad quem finem, bene potes cogitare. ... Imo etiam cum secundam stilum curiae, quando Collegium scribit, litterae sigillantur solum sigillis trium Priorem trium Ordinum, cum tunc actu duo Priores essent Italici, videlicet Dominus Florentinus et de Ursinis, suspicans quod propter nationem de qua etiam erant ipsorum testimonia reputarentur suspecta, petiit quod alii duo loco illorum sigillarent. Sed resistentibus Dominis Italicis non potuit hoc obtinere, licet contristatus fuerit contra unum de Dominis. Satis propter ad evitandum omnem suspicionem et scandalum quod posset inde suscitari litteras Domini concesserunt.
Frater Angelo of Spoleto, the Minister General of the Franciscans, gave testimony to the Ambassadors of the King of Aragon on this subject, stating that it was common knowledge that the Cardinals wrote under compulsion from Urban and from the Officiales of the City of Rome (Baluzius I, 1106):
audivit dici a pluribus et est communis fama quod Domini Cardinales qui fuerunt in urbe pro illo tempore scripserunt multis Principibus mundi et aliis Dominis quod elegerunt Dominum Barensem in verum Papam, et audivi consequenter quod hoc fecerunt timore potius quam amore, requisiti per dictum Urbanum et officiales populi Romani. Et specialiter recordatur de Domino Gebennensi, qui nunc est Papa Clemens, quod scripserit, ut audivit, Domineo Galeato [Visconti, of Milan]; et audivit id de Domino de Luna, tamen nescit cui. Et addit quod Dominus de Sancto Eustaciio dixit isti qui loquitur, "Bene scio de me ipso quod nuinquam scripsi Domino nec homini ipsum esse Papam." Et hoc audivit anno elapso proximo in Avinione de Mense Augusti vel Septembris .
Cardinal de Luna had written to the King of Aragon. His story is particularly a vivid version of the intimidation (Balzuius I, 1456): "The Cardinal of Aragon, who was staying in Anagni, said to him [Marcus Fernandi, Abbot of Vanza in Spain] that, back in Rome, Urban had ordered him [de Luna] to write to the kings of Spain about his election, and the Cardinal said to Marcus that he had already done so, as seemed appropriate to him. And later the Cardinal went to the palace and Urban said to him, 'Have you written letters to the kings of Spain, as I instructed you?' And the Cardinal replied in the affirmative. Then Urban said to him that he should send for them. The Cardinal replied to Urban, "They can't be had until I go home, because they are in my study." And Urban ordered him to go and get them. Then the Cardinal went to his residence, and that night he made the letters which he had written different from what they had been. And the next day in the morning he carried them to show them to Urban."
The circulation of these letters caused a great deal of confusion throughout Christendom, since the Cardinals themselves were forced to repudiate them later in the same year. As far as France was concerned, warnings had been sent verbally by the Cardinals along with the messengers carrying these official letters, to the effect that the official letters were not to be believed. The Chamberlain, Archbishop Pierre de Cros, wrote directly to the King of France in the presence of Cardinal Flandrin, warning the King not to believe the official letters (Baluzius I, 1227). Peter Amelii, Archbishop of Embrun, wrote from Avignon on September 7, 1378 to his friend Joannes de Calore, Chancellor of Notre Dame de Paris, stating that there was still a vacancy in the papal throne and that he was waiting for more reliable information before committing himself publicly [Denifle, 1610, pp. 556-557]. Thus both the King of France and the University of Paris delayed declaring for one pope or another. The University finally, under pressure from King Charles, declared in favor of Pope Clement in May of 1379 (Boulay [Bulaeus], Historia Universitatis Parisiensis Tomus quartus pp. 566-574)..
A number of Cardinals were having difficulty concealing their contempt for Bartolomeo Prignano, even though they were still in Rome and in danger from Bartolomeo and his Bandarenses. Nicolas Eymeric relates one telling incident which he witnessed, which took place at the Basilica of the XII Apostles on May 1, two weeks after the coronation. After Mass, Cardinal Robert of Geneva asked Cardinals Jean de la Grange and Pedro de Luna whether they would intercede for him in a matter pending before Barensis. Cardinal de la Grange flatly refused, saying he would never speak to him in supplication so long as he could see the sun." De la Grange and de Luna then began to laugh. Eymeric concluded privately that the Cardinals intended to do something about Urban, and at some point in May he himself concluded that Barensis was not the true pope.
Cum in Festo Beatorum Apostolorum Philippi et Jacobi [May 1, 1378] D. cardinalis predictus tunc Gebennensis haberet festum sui tituli, et esset in Missa in ecclesia Basilicae XII Apostolorum, et cum eo DD. cardinales Ambianensis [Jean de la Grange, OSB] et de Aragonia [Pedro de Luna], perfecta Missa, hic deponens accessit ad eos tres supplicando quod loqui eis placeret dicto Barensi de quodam facto hunc deponentem contingente. Et mox Ambianensis, totus quasi inflammatus, alta voce respondit: "Certe nec pro me nec pro vobis nec pro quocumque alio nunquam loquar sibi, quousque videam solem clarescere, eadem supplicando." De quibus verbis, alii duo DD. cardinales inceperunt ridere. Deponens vero tunc tacitus considerabat, et apud se concludebat, quod DD. cardinales aliquid circa illum Barensem essent facturi.
But the Cardinals could do nothing and could say very little while in Rome. They had been forbidden by Urban and the Romans (according to the testimony of the Imperial Ambassador, Conrad Heinrich) to leave the City without the special mandate of Urban himself. They were aware that they were being watched by spies set on them by Urban VI and their movements were being observed. Cardinal Corsini relates a story (in answer to a question from the Aragonese ambassadors) about the contents of a sacramental confession he was alleged to have made to his usual confessor, Francesco of Orvieto. This Francesco, who was a known spy of Urban in the Cardinal's household, was the origin of the story about which the ambassadors were asking. Corsini had been warned several times against the presence of a spy in his household (Gayet II, 63-64):
ipse Magister Franciscus erat michi valde suspectus, nam a certo sciebam quod per B. erat deputatus in domi et familia mea et sic esse verum jam a pluribus fide dignis fuerat michi relatum, specialiter a Magistro Bonaventura de Padua tunc ipsis Priore Generale dicti Ordinis Fratrum Heremitarum S. Augustini, qui pluries me avisavit quod caverem michi a dicto Fratre Francisco, nam sciebat quod erat in domo mea explorator erga B.
Not only was Corsini angered at the breach of the Seal of Confession by Francesco, but at the base ingratitude of a servant whom he treated as a familiaris and had made his chaplain. The report of this spy, moreover, had twisted the Cardinal's words and caused a major embarassment, exposing the Cardinal's duplicity as to the legitimacy of Urban's election. Obviously the Cardinals in Rome were in no position to speak their own minds. Whatever they said was being reported back to the Papal Palace.
They needed a place of security and freedom of speech and action. There is nothing strange in the Cardinals' desire to go to Anagni. The hot and unpleasant Roman summers, with their increase in disease (especially fevers), make a cooler hilltop climate highly desirable. The Roman courts and curial business usually ended by the end of June and did not resume until October. Moreover, during the summer of 1377 Pope Gregory and the Curia had resided at Anagni, and he had given instructions for more elaborate and comfortable arrangements in the same place for the summer of 1378. Besides, Anagni was under the control of Onorato Caetani, Count of Fundi, who had been expelled from Rome during the Novendiales by the Officiales of Rome. Caetani had also run afoul of Urban VI within days of the election, when Urban sought to deprive him of his Rectorate of the Campagna.
At the beginning of May, Agrifolio and Pictavensis [Guy de Malsec] had left the city, according to the Bishop of Cordoba, Menendus [Baluzius I, 1149]. During May, others departed. Cardinal Atgerius fled, according to his own testimony, one Sunday in June, having been warned that the Cardinals who were already in Anagni were casting doubts on the validity of Bartolomeo's election. Cardinal de Borsano and Cardinal de Luna were still in the city on Corpus Christi [June 17], according to the testimony of Franciscus Fernandi, Cantor of Palencia [Baluzius I, 1457):
quadam die, et credit quod esset dies Corporis christi, vidit in quodam sermone qui fuit factus coram Papae quod mandavit dictus Dominus praedicateri (non recordatur quis erat), quod denuntiaret ex parte sua omnes simoniacos excommunicatios, et quod tunc accesserat ad eum Cardinalis de Aragonia et dixerat sibi si intendebat de Cardinalibus, ete quod respondit sibi dictus Papa quod ita bene intendebat de Cardinalibus sicut de aliis, et etiam de se ipso, si esset possibile. Et tunc dixit sibi Cardinalis Mediolanensis quod faciebat contra decretalem, et respondit sibi Papa quod dictus Cardinalis non intelligebat decretalem.
It must have been especially galling for Cardinal Borsano, who had been a professor of law and who had written a book on law, to be told that he did not understand the Decretal.
Cardinal Tebaldeschi was still in Rome on June 18, the day after Corpus Christi, when he settled various disputes which had long vexed the clergy of the Vatican Basilica, and did so de speciali mandato Sanctissimi Dni nostri Dni Urbani PP. VI. vivae vocis Oraculo nobis facto canonica monitione praemissa. His notarized decree was preserved in the Basilica Archives [L. Martorelli, Storia del clero vaticano (Roma 1792) 199-205.] But the Cardinal eventually ended up at Tivoli, with Bartolomeo himself.
Gebennensis, de Luna and Glandatensis were the last to leave the City, around June 24 [Baluzius I, 1191, Baronius-Raynaldus, sub anno 1379, no. 17]. They all left the city with the licence of Bartholomeo/Urban. This is testified to by Conrad Heinrich, the Imperial Ambassador.
Nicolas Eymeric, the Inquisitor of Aragon left Rome in June too. At Anagni he found all of the Ultramontane cardinals except Lagier and de Luna. Around the middle of June he had a conversation with Robert of Geneva, in the presence of Cardinal de la Grange, in which Nicolas said that he wished to go to Gaeta, worried about his situation as were many others. Robert, however, advised him not to go, but to stay in Anagni. The Cardinals intended to declare the man in Rome not to be pope and they wanted Nicolas to carry their declaration to the Courts of Portugal and Castile:
Qui deponens venit Anagniam ubi invenit omnes DD. cardinales ultramontanos, exceptis Dominis Ostiense [Bertrandus Atgerius] et de Aragonia [Pedro de Luna], qui ad paucos dies Anagniam supervenerunt, et cum quolibet horum seriose multum indegavit, et tunc negotium penetravit. Sed D. Cardinalis Gebennensis [Robert of Geneva], quodam die circa medium Julii, cum dictus deponens velle ire Gayetam, dubitans de persona prout multi alii dubitabant, et peteret bulletum ab eodem, ipse D. Gebennensis, presente et audiente D. Cardinale Ambianense [Jean de la Grange, OSB], perfectius ei negotium declaravit, dicens huic deponenti: "Non recedatis, nos declarabimus illum hominem qui est in Roma non esse papam, et portabitis declarationem regibus Portugaliae et Castellae." Propter quae verba, ipse deponens remansit, et facta declaratione, illam ad reges Castellae et Portugaliae departavit.
When the Cardinals were gathered at Anagni and Urban was still at Tivoli, the Cardinals sent the Bishop of Pamplona, Martin de Zalva, to Tivoli on their behalf. Pontius Beraldi, who was Corrector of Apostolic Letters in the Curia, stated in his deposition that the Bishop of Pamplona, Martin de Zalva, had come to Tivoli and told Bartolomeo to his face that he was not the Pope and that he should renounce his pretensions; if he would come to Anagni to the Cardinals, they would treat him well even though they would not recognize him as pope, but they would have him made a Cardinal. (Baluzius I, 1380):
quod Episcopus Pampilonensis venit ad illum Barensem postquam Cardinales fuerunt in Anagnia, et dixerat sibi ore rotundo et aperte quod non erat Papa et quod renuntiaret juri si quod habebat, et Cardinales essent curiales contra eum. Et cum sederet ille Barensis ad mensam, dixit ibi publice, assistente ibi Domino Thoma de Sancto Severino et aliis, et iste erat praesens, si consulebant sibi illud quod renuntiaret papatui, ridendo quod dicebat Episcopus Pampilonensis, scilicet quod renuntiaret papatui; et tunc dixit sibi quilibet quod non consulebat.
The papal Subdeacon, Joannes de Baro stated in his deposition (Baluzius I, 1379-1380):
Item, dixit quod venit ad civitatem Tiburtinam Episcopus Pampilonensis ex parte Cardinalium, et dixit sibi quod non erat Papa, ut audivit, sed quod iret ad Cardinales et ipsi bene se haberent erga eum, licet non crederet quod dimitterent eum Papam, sed bene fecissent Cardinalem.
In July the Cardinals who were at Anagni sent a Letter to Bartolomeo Prignano Tivoli, (Martène, VII, columns 433-435; Du Boulay, 467-468). They announced that the Apostolic Throne was still vacant, and that Bartolomeo's own election was invalid due to violentia et metus mortis. They labelled him apostaticus, anathematizatus, antichristus, et totius Christianitatis invasor et destructor. They begged him to put down the symbols of the Papacy and resign his pretensions, promising him that they would use all their resources to procure pardon and remission for him and to show him mercy.
Marsilius de Inghen, the Nuncio of the University of Paris, reported on July 27 that it was already the talk of Tivoli on that day that the Cardinals wanted to proceed to a new election. (Du Bellay IV, 466; Denifle, no. 1608).
At the same time, during July, the Cardinals at Anagni had been in negotiations with the Italian Cardinals about coming together in a single group with a single purpose. This is narrated in detail both by Cardinal Corsini (Florentinus) and by Thomas of Acerno (an Urbanite).
On August 2, 1378 the Cardinals at Anagni issued a Declaration against Bartolomeo Prignano, "cum propter falsam", stating that he had been intruded into the Papacy as Urban VI (Baluzius I, columns 821-836)
On August 9, the Cardinals issued a general public Letter, "exigit sanctae et catholicae fidei puritas", denouncing Urban VI as an Intruder and calling on all faithful Christians to refuse him recognition and obedience (Baluzius I, columns 467-472 and again at 541-547). The Schism had begun.
Urban had already returned to Rome by August 26, taking up residence briefly at S. Maria Nova and then at Santa Maria in Trastevere [Gherardi, p. 292, no. 395] in fear of the French garrison which still held the Castel S. Angelo. Cardinal Tebaldeschi, who had been ailing all during this eventful year, had been dragged to Tivoli and then back to Rome. His last days were particularly distressing, as his physician, Dr. Fera, recalled. He died in Rome on September 6. In a letter written by Frater Angelo de Spoleto, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, to the King of Castile, on May 29, 1380, he passed on a report he had received from another witness that Urban VI had forged the Will of Cardinal Tebaldeschi:
Item, audivi a Domino Stephano Doctore quondam secretario dicti Bartholomaei quondam Barensis, qui nunc est Neapoli, et ex conscientia ab eo recessit, quod dictus Bartholomaeus habebat sigilla materialia Regum Boemiae, Ungariae et aliorum Principum multorum et Dominorum et Domini Cardinalis Cusentini, cum quibus dicto Domino Stephano praesente falsas litteras componebat, et ostendebat recipere novos cursores, et sic Romanum populum festivabat. Et addit quod per manus ejus fuit falsificatum testamentum Cardinalis de sancto Petro.
In 1379, Urban launched a war "pro defensione fidei christiane contra scysmaticos et infideles ac hostes et rebelles dicte fidei", which he financed by the imposition of a subsidy on all the churches and monasteries of the city of Rome, to the sum of 100,000 gold florins. The Castel S. Angelo did not finally surrender until April 29, 1379, which was also the day on which Urbanite mercenaries defeated Clementine mercenaries at the battle of Marino (Luigi Fumi, "Notizie officiali sulla Battaglia di Marino dell' anno 1379," Studi e documenti di storia e diritto 7 (Roma 1886), 3-11; Gregorovius, 514-515). Only then could Urban safely take up residence at the Apostolic Palace next to St. Peter's, and claim the Apostolic Treasury which had been stored in the Castel.
As indicated, the Cardinals who were gathered at Anagni were discussing the matter of a Conclave. At some point, according to his own sworn testimony (Baluzius I, 1049), the Franciscan Cardinal Lagier (Bertrandus Atgerius) fell into conversation with Cardinal de Vergne on the subject of the Florentine Cardinal Corsini. Lagier told Corsini that he himself and de Vergne would gladly give him their votes; Corsini replied that if Lagier wished to show him favor, he should take care about the other Italians (Borsano and Orsini). De Vergne deposed that, when the three Italian cardinals came to Fondi (? The two cardinals are obviously recalling the same incident), Lagier had told de Vergne that he would give his own vote to Corsini, and de Vergne replied that that was fine with him. Later, Cardinal Corsini's brother came to de Vergne at his residence, and allegedly offered him a cardinal's hat and an archbishopric and several others of his requests.
The Ultramontane Cardinals left Anagni on August 27, and made for Fondi, which was in the possession of Onorato Caetani, Count of Fondi, a distance of some twenty-seven miles from Anagni and only ten miles from Gaeta, its seaport.("Second Life of Gregory XI," Baluzius I, 477; 1232). Negotiations to get the Italian cardinals there were conducted (according to Nicolaus de Brancaciis, an Urbanite: Baluzius I, 1050) through Nicholas the Neapolitan Chancellor. The urbanite Nicholas alleges that the Neapolitan Nicholas treated with each of the three Italian cardinals separately, telling each that he had a chance of becoming pope, and suggesting that they ought to go to the villa at Fondi where the Ultramontanes were and do business with them to elect a pope. The Italians (the Urbanite Nicholas alleges) were favoring an election per viam compromissi; their idea was to elect a commission of Cardinals, the three Italians and three Ultramontanes. But later, the cardinals, fearing some trickery, chose instead to proceed by the via scrutinii.
Finally, the cardinals at Fondi were joined by the three Italian Cardinals, who had been staying at the Castle of Tagliacozzo, near Suessa, owned by Cardinal Giacomo Orsini. Two days earlier Urban had held a consistory in Rome and announcement of the appointment of twenty-nine new cardinals (three of whom declined the promotion at his hands). News of Urban's intention may have precipitated the Cardinals into finally taking the action that, in their own eyes, they were free to carry out once they had anathematized Urban as an Intruder on August 9: the election of a Pope.
The Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, Pierre de Cros, OSB, Archbishop of Arles, was present at Fondi, and described the events of the Election in his deposition (Baluzius I, 1237):
tres cardinales Italici accesserunt ad villam Fundorum super tractatu electionis, et quilibet ipsorum praesumebat quod eligeretur in Papam. Et cum una die omnes Cardinales et illi tres Italici intrarent consistorium, iste Camerarius custodiebat portam. Et tunc dixit Dominus Cardinalis Lemovicensis Domino Cardinali Florentino quod inciperet propositionem, quia ad eum spectabat, cum esset Prior Episcoporum Cardinalium. Et excusavit se Dominus Florentinus. Tunc incepit sic Dominus Lemovicensis, "Quia video quod Gallici vellent Gallicum, et Italici similiter Italicum ego non nomino Gallicum nec Italicum, sed nomino et eligo alium, qui non est Gallicus nec Italicus, scilicet Dominum Robertum Cardinalem Gebennensem, qui est de natione Alemannia. Hunc eligo in summum Pontificem." Tunc successive, nemine discrepante, omnes Cardinales elegerunt eum, exceptis praedictis tribus Cardinalibus Italicis.
When the sixteen Cardinals were gathered together in Consistory on September 20 to deal with the election, Cardinal Jean de Cros (Pierre de Cros' brother) urged Cardinal Corsini to begin the procedure of election, since he was the senior Cardinal Bishop present. Cardinal Corsini excused himself (perhaps considering his own candidacy), and therefore Cardinal de Cros, who was next in seniority, made his pronouncement, that since the French wanted a Frenchman and the Italians an Italian, he nominated and elected a person who was neither, Cardinal Robert of Geneva, who was a German. His vote was followed by the votes of all of the other cardinals without dissent. Only the three Italian Cardinals remained silent.
The sixteen cardinals who were present at Fondi issued a statement about the Conclave (Baluzius II, 837-845)
Tandem vero nobis et eisdem Cardinalibus in civitate Fundorum existentibus, et attendentibus quod eadem Romana Ecclesia pastore carebat, et quod et diuturna vacatio, praesertim illis temporibus periculum non modicum existebat, vocatis et ibidem convenientibus Petro [Corsini] Episcopo, Symone [de Borsano] Presbytero, Iacobo [de Ursinis (Orsini)] Diacono Cardinalibus antedictis, cum jam Franciscus [Tebaldeschi] Cardinalis Sancti Petri praedictus fuisset viam universae carnis ingressus [died September 6, 1378], diversis super iis tractatibus habitis, die XXI mensis Septembris tunc immediate secuta praefatus Dominus noster Clemens, tunc Robertus [of Geneva, Gebennensis] Basilicae XII. Apostolorum Presbyter Cardinalis, existens in civitate Fundorum praedicta in Romanum Pontificem rite et canonice fuit electus, et consensum suum hujusmodi electioni de se factae praestitit, inthronizatus, et, ut est moris, solemniter coronatus, per Reverendissimos Patres Dominos ejusdem Romanae Ecclesiae, Cardinales in Avinione existentes, quibus praemissa omnia intimare curavimus, cum omnium consensu et approbatione et devotione receptus.
It may be noted that Cardinal Robert of Geneva was one of the cardinals who had not participated in the events of April 9, when Bartolomeo was allegedly elected again and enthroned. He had been at Zagarolo, one of Archbishop Colonna's castles in the Campagna, and did not return to Rome until April 12 or 13.
Cardinal de Sortenac (Vivariensis) stated in his deposition that Cardinal Orsini, who indicated that he might have to go to Rome, swore in advance that he did not intend through any action that he might perform in Rome to consider Bartolomeo Prignano to be pope or to consent to him. Cardinal Corsini made the same protestation (Baluzius I, 1454):
Italici non fuerunt locuti aliquid, sed post actum illum Dominus de Ursinis fuit protestatus coram isto Cardinali [Vivariensi] et coram Domino Sancti Eustachii [Pierre Flandrin] quod si ipsum ire Romam contingeret, non intendebat per quoscunque actus quos faceret Roma habere B. in Papam nec in eum consentire. Item Dominus de Florentia similem protestationem fecit coram aliis duobus Cardinalibus. Item quod illi duo Cardinales intraverunt cum Domino Papa Clemente post illam electionem in loco secreto, et promiserunt sibi quod numquam alteri adhaererent, et juraverunt et sic fecerunt, et statim recesserunt, nec iverunt Romam.
Cardinal Flandrin (S. Eustachio) noted (Baluzius I, 1454) that Cardinal Orsini did not want the election made public until the next day, otherwise it would put him and his attendants in danger. His wish was agreed to. After the election, according to Sortenac, Cardinals Orsini and Corsini had a private meeting with Pope Clement VII, and they promised him that they would never adhere to any other person as pope. This statement is confirmed by the testimony of Cardinal Flandrin. The valididity of the election of Clement was recognized by the Italians, though they had not cast votes in the Election. As they themselves said in a letter to Urban (Baluzius I, 1237):
Cui electioni per nos non extitit contradictum. Cognovimus enim et reputavimus ejus electionem esse canonicam.
To this may be added the statement of Cardinal Flandrin (Baluzius I, 1455), that Orsini and Corsini declared themselves for Clement VII at a meeting in the Castle of S. Ioannis de Charte, in the presence of himself, Cardinal de Luna, and Nicolaus of Naples, the Chancellor of Queen Johanna. The same is reported by Gilabertus de Thodimgen, a German, who was Abbreviator and Scriptor Apostolicarum Litterarum in the Curia (Baluzius I, 1455):
post illam nominationem, quando Cardinales Italici recesserunt ad castrum de Tallacoz facta iam electione Domini Papae Clementis, iste miserat quandam litteram Domino Cardinali de Ursinis si dignaretur recipere istum Gilabertum in illo castro. Tunc Cardinalis rescripsit sibi quod iret ad eum, nam si alibi [non] posset, saltem reciperet eum sub pectore. Et tunc iste ivit ad eum; et invenit ibi Dominum de Ursinis Cardinalem praedictum et alios Dominos Cardinales Italicos. Et postquam exposuit eis quod intendebat ire ad Papam Dominum Clementem, qui erat in villa Fundorum, dixerunt sibi Domini Cardinales de Ursinis et de Florentia quod recommendaret eos in gratia Domini Papae Clementis. Et quotiens loquebantur de illo Clemente, semper vocabant eum Papam. Et quando nominabant Barensem, non appellabant eum Papam, sed dicebant 'illo qui est Roma.' Et secundum illa quae vidit eos loquentes credit quod ipsi Domini Cardinales Italici reputant Dominum Clementem verum Papam et alium intrusum.
The Urbanists attempted to put a different "spin" on the events at Fondi. They portray each one of the Italian cardinals as ambitious for his own election to the papacy. This may well have been true in the case of Cardinal Orsini, who had been an active conspirator in the events leading up to the first conclave in April. Corsini, whose Florentine connections had made him a poor candidate in April (peace negotiations the Church were still in progress and uncertain), had supported the Roman Cardinal Tebaldeschi, hoping perhaps to have him elected for a brief reign; when he passed away with the Curia still in Rome, Corsini might see to his own improved chances. At Anagni or Fondi, as stated above, he had received indications of support from Cardinals Lagier and de Vergne. As for Borsano of Milan, he could not sensibly consider himself likely to attract twelve votes. But as for riding into Fondi with the prospect of having any Italian elected in September, after the debacle of April and the behavior of the Romans and other Italians subsequently (the attacks on the Curiales in Rome in July, for instance), it would require a great deal of naivetë for the Italians to expect the French to vote for one of them.
Theoderic de Nyem was an eyewitness to the Roman massacres (I. 14);
nec posset quis enarrare plene, quot mala contra ipsos curiales utriusque sexus per eosdem Romanos committebantur impune. In urbe sepedicta multo tempore duravit hec quassacio et persecucio curialium prefatorum. Vidi tunc aliquas matronas dicte urbis ad excitandum magis cives Romanos ad iracundiam contra eosdem curiales, dum irent per vicos urbis, impetuose accedere ad ipsos curiales atque omni postposita matronali modestia et verecundia spuere in facies eorundem curialium. Propter que omnes ipsi curiales superstites in magno timore et tremore tunc in eadem steterunt
Bishop Thomas of Acerno's story is as follows (Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores III.2 , 728-729):
Interea Dominus noster recessit Tibure et venit Romam cum Domino Cardinali Sancti Petri et aliis Curialibus, ubi Dominus sancti Petri obiit [September 6, 1378, at Rome] in fide Domini nostri Papae Urbani VI, et publicavit in ultimis quod Urbanus VI erat verus Papa, sicut fuit Beatus Petrus vel Silvester. Post haec Dominus noster deliberavit facere novos Cardinales, et scripsit illis Italicis usque Suessam, quod venirent ad eum et interessent facturae creationi Cardinalium; sed tun quia illo tempore medio Cardinalis de Ursinis iverat Neapolim ad Reginam, tum quia via erat corrupta propter malam arenam, tum etiam quia crediderunt quod Dominus noster non facerent Cardinales sine eis, tum etiam quia sperabant adhuc aliquid boni operari circa reductionem Ultramontanorum: non venerunt, sed redeunte Cardinali de Ursinis de Neapoli, ad dolosas et subtiles vocationes dictorum Ultramontanorum iverunt usque Fundos. Dominus noster interim deliberavit de Cardinalibus creandis, et in mense Septembris [September 18, 1378, in Rome], scilicet in quatuor Temporibus fecit XXIX. cardinales de Urbe, de Neapoli, et de diversis Regnis et partibus Mundi, de quorum creatione statim ivit novum usque Fundos.Quo scito, illi Ultramontani fuerunt de creatione tot Cardinalium non solum indignati, immo et dolore maximo totaliter excoecati et desperati ulterius de gratia Domini nostri. Quare videntes quod non erat eis possibile per eorum industriam vel potentiam ducere Papam verum secum ultramontes, maximo dolore turbati, et Diabolico rubore confusi, si ibant ultramontes sine capite, etiam cogitarunt facere unum Antipapam. Et tenentes hoc secretum, simularunt unum Consilium, ad quod vocarunt dictos tres Cardinales Italicos, qui jam erant in Fundis semper ad restitendum eis, ut non procederent ad faciendum Antipapam. Et quum essent omnes simul, nullo facto vel convocato Consilio, absolute incoeperunt induere Dominum Gebennensem vestibus Papalibus, et dixerunt, "Dominus Gebennensis est Papa." Ipsi autem Italici hoc videntes, statim turbati verterunt oerum vultus et terga, et dixerunt, "Nos non venimus ad hoc, nec consentimus in hoc, quoniam habemus Romae unum Papam, unde non possumus habere alium Papam." Et statim insalutato hospite recesserunt, et reversi fuerunt Suessam. Et quoniam involavit una fama quod Cardinalis de Ursinis libenter voluisset esse Antipapa et destruere Dominum nostrum, et hoc secreto sibi promiserant Ultramontani. Et haec fama venit ad Dominum nostrum. Ipse Cardinalis de Ursinis semper conatus est facere morulas per Civitates et Castra, et cum versutiis et dolis detinuit dictos Dominos, scilicet Florentinum et Mediolanensem, faciendo eis magnas expensas et honores per Terras consanguineorum suorum, et post in suis. Et quum Dominus Mediolanensis absolute voluisset venire ad Dominum nostrum, et venisset de Suessa usque ad Abbatiam Cassinensem, ipse Dominus Jacobus scripsit sibi, quod ipse volebat venire, rogans eum quod exspectaret eum ibidem: quod etiam fecit Dominus Mediolanensis quia est purus homo et deciperet eum unus puer.
It should be noted that it is in Urbanite sources only that the assertion is made that the three Italians each had in mind the idea that he might become Pope, and that their departure from Fondi after the conclave, in which they had not voted, was because of some anger or pique on their part, as well as some feeling that they had been tricked. The notion that the three Italians wanted to go back to Urban is fiction. They may have been playing something of a double game for the sake of their friends and their property (especially Orsini), but they had no reason to love Urban in September, and less reason as the days and weeks passed. Even several of Urban's new cardinals came to desert him.
Clement VII was crowned in the Cathedral of Fondi on October 31, 1378 by Cardinal Giacomo Orsini, the Cardinal Protodeacon [Panvinio, Epitome Pontificum Romanorum , 237]. A curious relic of his activity on his Coronation day is preserved in the Collectoria of the Avignon papacy [C. Samaran and G. Mollat, La fiscalité pontificale en France au XIVe siècle (Paris 1905), pp. 234-235]:
Sciant cuncti quod dominus noster papa Clemens septimus, die sue coronacionis in civitate Fundorum, michi Petro, Camerario suo, archiepiscopo Arelatensi, precepit vive vocis oraculo quod scriberem ad futuram rei memoriam quod ipse reservabat ad vitam suam spolia prelatorum et aliarum personarum ecclesiasticarum decedencium ubique ad instar et prout fecerunt sancte memorie domini Urbanus V et Gregorius XI predecessores sui, et sic michi precepit quod ego uterer et per collectores apostolicos facerem observari. Scriptum propria [manu] in civitate Fundorum, anno Domini MCCCLXXVIII, die ultima octobris.
News of Clement's election was formally announced in Avignon on October 13, 1378 [J. de Loye, Les archives de la Chambre apostolique au XIVe siècle (Paris 1899), p. 111 no. 350].
On September 18, 1378, Urban VI, with no cardinals at all left at his side, created twenty-nine new cardinals (Baronius-Raynaldi, sub anno 1378, cii, pp. 360-361, from a list by Felice Contelori). Three of the nominees refused the honor (including Stefano Colonna); and one, Agapito Colonna, who initially wanted nothing to do with the matter, had to be persuaded with considerable pressure to accept. Four of these cardinals were dead by the end of 1380. Two of them subsequently went over to Clement VII.
Six more cardinals were created in December, 1381, though Urban deposed one of them. Three more cardinals were named between 1382 and 1385. Another group of nine cardinals was named on December 17, 1384. On January 12, 1385, Urban VI ordered the arrest and incarceration of six of his own Cardinals in the Castle of Nocera: Joannes de Amelia, Gentilis de Sangro, Adam de Eston, Ludovicus Donati, Bartholomaeus de Cucurno, and Martinus de Judice (Theoderic of Nyem I. 42, pp. 77-79 Erler). In December 1386 Urban VI ordered five of the six cardinals killed. Only Adam Eston escaped, upon the special pleading of the King of England [Theoderic of Nyem I. 57, pp. 102-104 Erler]. Eston was restored to the Cardinalate by Boniface IX, the successor of Urban VI in the Roman obedience.
Stephanus Baluzius [Étienne Baluze], Vitae Paparum Avinionensium 2 volumes (Paris: apud Franciscum Muguet 1693): Volume I: "Prima Vita Gregorii XI", 425-452; "Secunda Vita Gregorii XI," 451-478. Volume II: list of documents on separate page.
Thomas of Acerno (Bishop of Lucera), De creatione Urbani VI. et de creatione Domini Gebennensis in antipapam, in Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Tertius (Milan 1723) columns 715-730.
Theodericus de Nyem [Dietrich Niem]: Georg Erler (editor), Theoderici de Nyem de scismate libri tres (Lipsiae 1890). Georg Erler, Dietrich von Nieheim [Thoedericus de Nyem]. Sein Leben und seine Schriften (Leipzig: Alfons Dürr 1887). [ca. 1338/1348—1418]
L. Bellaguet (editor and translator), Chronique du Religieux de Saint-Denys Tome second (Paris: Crapelet 1840), Liber XV [Latin text and French translation].
Franz Ehrle, "Die Chronik des Garoscus de Ulmoisca Veteri und Bertrand Boysset," Archiv fur Literatur- und Kirchengeschichte 7 (Freiburg im Breisgau 1900), 311-420.
Raynaldi: Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici Tomus septimus (Lucca: Typis Leonardi Venturini 1752) [Baronius-Raynaldi]. Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici denuo excusi et ad nostra usque tempora perducti ab Augusto Theiner Tomus Vigesimus sextus 1356-1396 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1872) [Baronius-Theiner] [a disgraceful exhibition of historical partisanship, declining to cite materials in favor of the Avignon position on the grounds that they are schismatics and consequently liars; interpretations are thoroughly prejudiced. And yet, with Baluze and von der Hardt placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, Raynaldi was the beginning point of Catholic scholarship.]. J. D. Mansi (editor), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio Tomus vicesimus quartus (Venetiis: apud Antonium Zatta 1780. list of documents on separate page.
Ludovicus Antonius Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Tertius (Milan 1723). list of documents on separate page.
Bartolomeo Platina, Historia B. Platinae de vitis pontificum Romanorum ...cui etiam nunc accessit supplementum... per Onuphrium [Panvinium]... et deinde per Antonium Cicarellam (Cologne: Cholini 1626). Bartolomeo Platina, Storia delle vite de' pontefice edizione novissima Tomo Terzo (Venezia: Ferrarin 1763). Sieur d' Aubery, Histoire generale des cardinaux (Paris 1642). Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo secondo (Roma: Pagliarini 1792). Giuseppe Piatti, Storia critico-cronologica de' Romani Pontefici E de' Generali e Provinciali Concilj Tomo ottavo (Poli: Giovanni Gravier 1767). Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Annali d' Italia edizione seconda Volume 12 (Milano:Giambatista Pasquale 1754).
J.-B. Christophe, L' histoire de la papauté pendant le XIV. siècle Tome deuxième (Paris: L. Maison 1853) 388-403. [very Gallican in outlook, hostile to Italian sources]. J.-F. André, Histoire de la papauté à Avignon deuxième edition (Avignon: Seguin Frères 1887). Martin Souchon, Die Papstwahlen von Bonifaz VIII bis Urban VI (Braunschweig: Benno Goeritz 1888). F. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume VI. 2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906) [Book XII, chapters 2-3] [a severe disappointment, ignoring a wide range of documentary evidence in favor of a potted Urbanite narrative, supplied by Th. Lindner; his Roman friends still respected him, though].
Johann Peter Kirsch, Die Ruckkehr der Papste Urban V. und Gregor XI. von Avignon nach Rom (Paderborn 1898) [Quellen und Forschungen, 6]. Alessandro Gherardi, "La guerra dei Fiorentini con Papa Gregorio XI," Archivio storico italiano 3 serie 5.2 (1867) 35-131; 6 (1867) 208-232; 7 (1868) 211-232; 8 (1868) 260-296 [also published separately (Florence:Cellini 1868), with continuous pagination]. Léon Mirot, La politique pontificale et le rétour du Saint-Siège à Rome en 1376 (Paris: Émile Bouillon 1899). H. Girard, "Élection d' Urbain VI," Revue des sciences ecclesiastiques 2 (1865) 534-563 [argues that the election was legitimate; based on Raynaldi and Fleury; faithful Urbanite]. Th. Lindner, "Die Wahl Urban's VI. 1378." Historische Zeitschrift 28 (1872) 101-127 [faithful Urbanite; the principal source of Ludwig Pastor's narrative]. J.J.J. von Döllinger, "Urbani VI. Creatio," Beiträge zur politischen, kirchlichen und cultur-geschichte der sechs letzten Jahrhunderte III. Band (Wien 1882), 354-360 ["ex Informatione habita a juris consultis Gallis et Hispanis pro Clemente VII contra Urbanum VI. Cod. lat. Monac. 150, fol. 39 ff."]. F.J. Scheuffgen, Beiträge zu Geschichte des Grossen Schismas (Freiburg im Breisgau 1889). Louis Gayet, Le grand schisme d'Occident Les Origines 2 volumes (Paris-Florence-Berlin 1889) [especially important for the "Pièces justificatives" in each volume, containing many depositions of the participants—though, as Valois points out, no more than about a quarter of what is known to exist, and with many errors]. Noël Valois, "Le rôle de Charles V au début du Grand Schisme (8 avril-16 novembre, 1378)," Annuaire-bulletin de la Société de l' histoire de France 24. 2 (1887), 225-255. Noël Valois, "L' élection d'Urbain VI. et les origines du Grand Schisme d'Occident," Revue des questions historiques 48 (1890), 353-420. Noël Valois, La France et le Grand Schisme d'Occident Tome premier (Paris: Alphonse Picard 1896) [Valid election doubtful]. S. Steinherz, "Das Schisma von 1378 und die Haltung Karl's IV.," Mittheilungen des Instituts für österreichischen Geschichtsforschung 21 (1900) 599-639. A. Guggenberger, "Die Anerkennung Urbans VI. durch die in Avignon weisenden Kardinäle," Historisches Jahrbuch 26 (1905), 314-317. Fr. Bliemessrieder, "Ein Brief des Gegenpapstes Klemens VII. (1378)," Historisches Jahrbuch 26 (1905), 574-575 [Fondi, September 27, 1378, to one of Urban VI's newly created 'cardinals'].
Thomas Rymer, Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios quosvis... Tomus VI (Londini: A. & J. Churchill, 1708). W. H. Bliss and C. Johnson (editors), Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland. Papal Letters. Volume IV A.D. 1362-1404 (London: Eyre and Spottswoodie, 1902). [Calendar]
Edmundus Martène et Ursinus Durandus, Veterum scriptorum et monumentorum historicorum , dogmaticorum, moralium, amplissima collectio Tomus VII (Parisiis: apud Montalant 1733), Praefatio, ii-xxxiii. list of documents on separate page.
Claude Cochin, "Recherches sur Stefano Colonna, prévôt du chapitre de Saint-Omer, cardinal d'Urbain VI et correspondent de Pétrarque," Revue d' histoire et de littérature religeuses 10 (1905) 352-383 ; 554-578. Francesco Antonio Vitale, Storia diplomatica de' Senatori di Roma Parte II (Roma: Stamperia Salomoni 1791). Alessandro Gherardi, "La guerra dei Fiorentini con Papa Gregorio XI, detta La guerra degli otto santi," Archivio storico Italiano 3rd series 5 (Firenze: 1868) 11 ff. [also published separately]. Alfonso Capecelatro, Storia di S. Caterina da Siena e del Papato del suo tempo (Siena 1878) [faithful Urbanite]. G. Romano, "Niccolò Spinelli da Giovinazzo, diplomatico del secolo XV.," Archivio storico per le province napoletane 26 (1901) 33-80; 223-281. Walter Ullmann, The Origins of the Great Schism: A Study in Fourteenth-Century Ecclesiastical History (London 1948; Hamden CT: Archon Books 1967). Marzieh Gail, The Three Popes: An Account of the Great Schism when Rival Popes in Rome, Avignon, and Pisa vied for the Rule of Christendom (New York: Simon and Schuster 1969). Salvatore Fodale, La politica napolitana di Urbano VI (Roma: S. Sciascia 1973) [one-sided whitewash of Urban VI]. Robert Brentano, Rome before Avignon (Berleley and Los Angeles: University of California Press 1974). Konrad Eubel, OFMConv., "Aus den Ausgabebüchern der Schisma—Päpste Klemens VII und Benedikt XIII," Römische Quartalschrift 18 (1904), 174-189; 337-357.
Emilio Grahit y Papell, El Inquisidor Fray Nicolas Eymerich (Gerona 1878). C. Heimann, Nicolaus Eymerich (Miinster, 2001)
G. B. Carinci, "Documenti scelti dell' archivio della eccma famiglia Caetani di Roma" estratto del Saggiatore, Giornale di Roma Ann. 2, fasc. 10, Vol. 4 (Roma: Tipografia Menicanti 1846) 35-70. Rodolfo Lanciani, "Il panorama di Roma scolpito da Pietro Paolo Olivieri nel 1585," Bulletino communale 21 (1893) 272-277.
Ardea: G. Tomassetti, "Della Campagna Romana nel Medio Evo," Archivio della società romana di storia patria 3 (1880), 135-174.
Urban II's movements are catalogued by K. Eubel, "Das Itinerar der Papste zur Zeit des grossen Schismas," Historisches Jahrbuch 16 (1895) 545-564, at pp. 555-556.
© 2010 John Paul Adams, CSUN