February 20, 1431 — March 3, 1431

The Minerva from the air
S. Maria sopra Minerva
(with the Dominican Convent on the north side)
[photo from ©Google Earth]


No coins have been identified.


The Marshal of the Holy Roman Church and Guardian of the Conclave was Giovanni Battista Savelli.


Death of Pope Martin V

Pope Martin V (Colonna) had lived during most of his reign on Colonna property, in a palazzo next to the Basilica XII Apostolorum.  At the beginning of 1431 it was apparent that he was not well, though he seemed to be in recovery.  He had had an episode of illness at the beginning of the year, and Cardinal Antonio Correr wrote to the Florentines on February 20 [Pastor, History of the Popes I, 396] that the gossip in the city was that his life was in danger. On Monday, the 19th, he summoned the cardinals and made a few general remarks;  the general impression was that he was going to die immediately. Stefano Infessura [Diaria p. 26 Tommasetti] says: a dì 19 cade la iotta a papa Martino nella lengua, e fu dì lunedi,  e lo martedì seguente morse su nell albo dello dì, e fu a dì 20 de febraro.

He died on the night of Tuesday, February 20, 1431, shortly before dawn, at the age of 63, of apoplexy (a stroke). He had taken supper and gone to bed ["Life of Martin V," from a Vatican ms., in Muratori RIS III. 2, 868]:

jam sumto prandio infirmatus est, et nocte sequenti paulo ante diem hic beatissimus Pastor et semper memorandus Pontifex Deo animam reddidit, aetatis suae, ut ferebatur, anno sexagestmo tertio.

He had reigned as Pope for thirteen years, three months, and nine days (Platina, 294). . His death is noted in the 15th century Memoriale of Paolo dello Maestro (Pelaez, 81; Constant, 323 n. 3):

XIV Feb. morio Papa Martino Quinto....a di prima Martii, li cardinali se misero in Conchiave in nella Minerva et fu di Jovii alle 24 hore, e fu sbarrata la piazza della...Die X di Marzo fu coronato papa Eugenio, su le scale di S. Pietro.

He was buried in the Lateran Basilica, in front of the high altar, ante capita Apostolorum Petri et Pauli.  His funeral inscription reads [Forcella Inscrizioni delle chiese di Roma 8 no. 37, p. 23]:

MENS •  III  • DIES •  XII • OBIIT •  AN  • 

The tomb was opened on February 7, 1853,  in order to make possible the restoration of the Tabernacle of the Basilica and enlargement of the small Confessione.  The tomb was very simple, and to everyone's surprise, the body was buried with its head toward the main entrance of the Basilica, without papal ornaments or proper coffins.  It has been theorized that either the body was not that of Martin V (Colonna), but a ruse to prevent desecration; or that the tomb had been violated during the hostile reaction against the Colonna family in the early years of Eugenius IV [A. Coppi, Memorie colonnese (Roma 1855), pp. 183-190].


There was an immediate reaction to the news of the death of the Pope.  The Duke of Milan, Filippo Maria Visconti, wrote at once to the Emperor Sigismund, on March 5, 1431:

Etsi nihil dubitem serenitatem vestram que scripturus sum ex multis aliorum litteris audituram, ut ego tamen meo debito satisfaciam, Majestati vestre notificare constitui, et qua debeo reverentia ac humilitate notifico sanctissimum dominum nostrum papam Martinum die vigesimo preteriti mensis februarii, in aurora, suos clusisse dies, atque migrasse ad dominum Deum nostrum.  Et sicut ex romana curia certior factus sum, provisum est ut cum pace omnium cito novus Pontifex eligatur;  ego vero non sine magna spe sum quod eligendus favorabilis erit atque benivolus; et quisque futurus ille sit, non dubito quin in sua me gratia et benivolentia sua recipiat, meque libenter habeat in servitorem et filium pre ea devotione et reverentia quam in Ecclesiam Dei habeo, et per omnia tempora habere dispono.  Ut igitur, invictissime princeps et domine metuendissime, breviter concludam, nihil ex hoc obitu summi Pontificis rebus imperialibus in Italia secuturum eat quod incomodum esse possit; neque mea devotio statui Ecclesie erit inutilis;  immo, si de me ipso loqui liceret, maxime fructuosa; sed, judicio meo, Deoque propicio, meliora succedent.  Quare supplico devotissime, ut Majestas vestra suum ad has partes accelerare dignetur accesum, ubi desiderio plurimo expectatur, nec aliqua occasione moretur.  Per eius enim adventum omnia sunt felicissime successura; nec alias fuerit unquam  Cesar qui tantam gloriam reportaverit.

The Duke was to be considerably disappointed to hear that the newest successor of S. Peter would be a Venetian.



As soon as Pope Martin was dead the Cardinals held a Congregation, on February 20, in which the Conservatores, Capita Regionum, Marshalls, and all the Officiales of Rome took part.  They all placed themselves at the disposal of the Cardinals, and promised to hold the City in complete obedience to the Church. Prince Colonna, the nephew of the late Pope, sent a delegation of important men and distinguished citizens to the Cardinals, to announce that, on his behalf, they promised to turn over the Castel S. Angelo and the gates of the city, as well as all of the fortresses belonging to the Church, to the College of Cardinals.  The Cardinals were delighted that there would be no trouble from the City or from the Colonna.  They planned to conduct the Pope's funeral, observe the Novendiales, and then begin the Conclave immediately.

The Venetian ambassador, Francesco Tornabuoni, wrote to the Signoria that the Cardinals were disposed to get on with the novendiales and have a quick election. That being the case, the Venetians decided not to interfere with the proceedings, though their favorite was of course the Venetian Antonio Correr, the Cardinal Bishop of Porto. The Florentine government, however, wrote to Cardinal Orsini that they offered him all their support and hoped to see him elected. But they also made the same representations to Cardinal Condulmaro (Bishop of Siena), to Cardinal Albergati (Bishop of Bologna), and to Cardinal Casini (Petruccelli, 240). The Romans favored Cardinal Colonna, a nephew of the deceased pope, or so it is said;  but the idea of electing a twenty-two year old, however talented, was and is absurd. The generations-long feuds between the Orsini and Colonna, in any event, cancelled out his chances. For the same reason, Giordano Orsini, however competent and highly thought of, was not a viable candidate.  His was the role of pope-maker.


The Conclave was enclosed on March 1, 1431, according to the Memoriale of Paolo Benedetto di Nicolai dello Maestro (Pelaez, 84; Cancellieri, 12-13 calls him the papal Master of Ceremonies, but this is premature; see Constant, 162):

Anno 1431 à 13 Febr. morto Papa Martino V, quale visse nel Papato 14 anni, et tenne un quieto e tranquillo stato, che s' andava con l'auro in mano, attorno Roma, ducento miglia di notte, e di giorno securo, e fece grandissimo bene alla Città di Roma. 1 di Marco li Cardinali si misero in Conclave nella Minerva à 24 hore, e fu sbarrata la piazza della Minerva e fu guardata da Romani.

The Dominican convent, next to the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, was chosen for the conclave for the sake of security, since the square in front of the Basilica was easily closed off and defended. There survives a note of the payment of 47 florins to Master Bartholomeus, the carpenter of Master Jacobus, who constructed "barrae pro custodia conclavis" [Eugène Müntz, p. 66].  There was also work done in the monks' dormitory, which needed to be repaired after the Conclave.  A note in the books of the Apostolic Camera records the payment, on October 23, 1431 [Müntz, p. 49], "honesto religioso fratri Leonardo de Roma ordinis praedicatorum sindaco et procuratori conventus fratrum praedicatorum in sancta Maria de Minerva de Urbe commorantium pro complemento pecuniarum dicto conventui concessarum pro reparatione dormitorii quod fuit destructum tempore conclavis in quo s. d. n. fuit creatus flor. auri d.c. 150."  

Business began at the Minerva on March 2, 1431. There were approximately nineteen or twenty cardinals in total. One cardinal, Domenico Capranica, was not allowed to participate in the Conclave. He had been named cardinal by Martin V in secret consistory on July 23, 1423, and was confirmed in another secret consistory on May 26, 1426, but his appointment was not published until November 8, 1430. In the parlance of the subject, his mouth had been closed, but not yet opened; he was entitled to the status and prerogatives of a cardinal, but he had not served his novitiate and was entitled neither to speak in consistory nor to vote in a papal election (or so it was alleged; Cartwright, p. 128; cf. Pastor I, 264). Capranica applied, nonetheless, for admission to the Conclave, and was refused by the Cardinals. The election was finally conducted by fourteen cardinals.


The Cardinals

The number and status of cardinals at the end of the reign of Martin IV is somewhat confused: (a) by the effects of the Schisms; (b) Martin's habit of naming cardinals "in pectore" and not getting around to publicizing their names or completing their installations.  Konrad Eubel  Hierarchia Catholica  II editio altera (Monasterii 1914), p. 7 n. 4, states that there were twenty-two cardinals at the time of the election of Eugenius IV, of whom nine were absent.  The signatures of the cardinals present at the Conclave at the Minerva on March 2, 1431, Apostolica Sede vacante, are preserved on the Electoral Capitulations  [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1431, no. 7, p. 84]:  Giordano Orsini, Antonio Correr of Porto, Antonio Panciera of S. Susanna, Gabriel Condulmar Bishop of Siena, Branda Castiglione, Jean de la Roche Taillée, Ludovicus Aleman of S. Cecilia, Antonio Casini of S. Marcello, Johannes Cervantes of S. Pietro in vincoli, Alfonso Carillo of S. Eustachio, Lucido dei Conti, Ardicino of SS. Cosmae et Damiani, Hughes de Lusignan of S. Adriano, and Prospero Colonna of S. Giorgio—a total of fourteen participants.

[Panvinio (297) lists Albergati and Cesarini as absent—which is correct. He lists Ludovicus Alamanus, Arelatensis, Cardinal Priest of Sta Caecilia; Juan Cervantes, Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in vinculis; and Hughes of Cyprus, Cardinal Deacon of S. Adriano, as present–a total of fourteen cardinals out of nineteen. Bartolommeo Platina, however, states (295) that there were eighteen cardinals in the Conclave—which, however, may only be loose language].

Fourteen cardinals of a total of 19 (or twenty) were in attendance—depending on one's judgment of Cardinals of the obedience of John XXIII and Benedict XIII, and of the cardinals who had been named but not fully installed by Martin V.


Cardinals attending:

  1. Giordano Orsini, a Roman, son of Giovanni Orsini and Cardinal BIshop of Albano (1412-1431) Cardinal Priest of SS. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti (1405-1412, and in commendam to 1438).  Apostolic Legate in France in 1418-1419.  Apostolic Legate to Poland, Hungary, Bohemia and Germany in 1426 [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1426 no. 15, p. 39]   Two days after the Election of Eugenius IV, he was transferred to the See of Sabina (March 14, 1431–May 29, 1438).  Major Penitentiary.    (died May 29, 1438)
  2. Antonio Correr (aged 62), from Venice, nephew of Pope Gregory XII, Cardinal (1408) bishop (1409) of Porto and Santa Rufina. [He did not become Dean of the Sacred College or Bishop of Ostia and Velletri until after the election of Eugenius IV]  Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica. He died on January 19, 1445, in the monastery of S. Giorgio in Alga in Pavia, of which he was the founder, and where he was interred [Olduin Athenaeum Romanum, pp. 77-78]).

  3. Gabriele Condulmaro, from Venice, Cardinal Priest (1408) of the title of S. Clemente, then (ca. 1426) of S. Maria in Trastevere; nephew of Pope Gregory XII, Bishop of Siena.   He was a partisan of the Orsini, and disliked by Martin V. (Christophe, 95).   Elected Pope Eugenius IV, and died on February 23, 1447.
  4. Antonio Panciera (or Pancierini) de Portu, from Friuli, Cardinal priest of the title of S. Susanna, 1414 (a cardinal of John XXIII). He became Bishop of Frascati (Tusculum) under Eugenius IV on March 14,1431. Died in Rome on July 3, 1431.
  5. Branda da Castiglione (aged 80), of Milan, Placentinus, Cardinal Priest of the title of S. Clemente, 1414 (a cardinal of John XXIII). Former Apostolic Legate in Germany to deal with the Hussites [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1426 no. 12, p. 37 and p. 74].  Became Bishop of Porto in 1431 under Eugenius IV.  Bishop of Piacenza (1404), Administrator of Lisieux (1420-1424)
  6. Louis Aleman, CRSJ, Cardinal Priest in the title of S. Cecilia, Administrator of Arles, France (1423-1440)  [Gallia christiana (1716), 582-584; Albanès and Chevalier Gallia christiana novissima (1901) pp. 787-829]. [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1431, no. 7].  He was in Rome continuously from 1428-1433 [Pérouse, 87-93].
  7. Jean de la Roche Taillée or Taisle [Rupescissa], of Lyons, Rothomagensis, Cardinal Priest, title of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (May 24, 1426-1437). Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica. Vice-Chancellor S.R.E. (1426-1437)   Died March 24, 1437.
  8. Antonio Casini (aged ca. 52), son of Francesco Casini, physician to six popes, from Urban VI to Martin V [Marini, Degli archiatri pontifici I, pp. 96-101],   a native of Siena, Senensis. Cardinal Priest, title of S. Marcello (1426-1439).   Canon of the Cathedral of Florence (from 1395), and Vicar-General.  Cleric of the Apostolic Camera.  A familiar of Innocent VII.  Bishop of Pesaro (1407-1409).  Bishop of Siena (1409-1426).  Treasurer of John XXIII and of Martin V.  Governor of Bologna.  President of the Romagna.  Administrator of the See of Grosseto (1429-1439).  Died in Florence on February 5, 1439 (in the Roman calendar, it was still 1438).  Brother of Bartolommeo Casini, Bishop of Pesaro (1409-1419).   It is alleged by Brandmüller that, having no papal ambitions himself, he was instrumental in the election of Eugenius IV, the proof being that they were friends going back to the days of their service in the Curia of Gregory XII—thin stuff indeed.
  9. Juan de Cervantes, Cardinal Priest in the title of S. Pietro in Vincoli.  Papal Legate (nominated on June 30, 1430) to the general assembly of Franciscans at Assisi for the reformation of the Order under John of Capistrano [Baronius-Theiner 28, sub anno 1430, no. 6, p. 84; Wadding, Annales Minorum 10, sub anno 1430 no. 7].

  10. Alfonso Carrillo de Albornoz, a Spaniard, Cardinal (1423-1434) Deacon of S. Eustachio  (cardinal Deacon [1408] of S. Eusebio of Benedict XIII). (Novaes, 67).  Died 1434 at Basel.
  11. Lucido de' Conti, a Roman, relative of the Dukes of Poli, Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin (a cardinal of John XXIII).
  12. Hugues de Lusignan, Cardinal Deacon of S. Adriano.
  13. Ardicino della Porta, of Novara.   Cardinal Deacon of Ss. Cosma e Damiano (1426-1434).  Doctor in utroque iure.  Consistorial Advocate. Attended the Council of Constance.  Cleric of the Apostolic Camera.  Corrector of Apostolic Letters. [C. Cartharius, Advocatorum Sacrii Consistorii Syllabus (Roma 1656) xxvii].   Archdeacon of Northampton in the Church of Lincoln (1431-1434) [Henry Bradshaw, Statutes of Lincoln Cathedral  Part II (Cambridge 1897) cxlviii].  Died in Rome on April 9, 1434 (Contelori) or August 9 (Ciaconius).
  14. Prospero Colonna (aged 22), Roman nobleman, nephew of Pope Martin V. Cardinal (1426-1463).  Cardinal Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro.  Martin V had importuned Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Chamberlain of England, to grant Prospero the Archdeaconry of Canterbury (1424-1433)  [George Williams (editor), Memorials of the Reign of King Henry VI: Official Correspondence of Thomas Bekynton, Secretary to King Henry VI, and Bishop of Bath and Wells Volume I (London 1872), ccii, pp. 284-285; Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae I, 42].  Deprived of his benefices by Eugenius IV on October 9, 1433, and outlawed along with his Colonna relatives, the Savelli and the Gaetani. He was absolved by Nicholas V, whom he crowned.  Died in Rome on May 24, 1463.

Cardinals not attending:

  1. Pierre de Foix, OFM, Cardinal Priest in the title of S. Stefano al Monte Celio. Formerly Administrator of the Diocese of Lescar (1409-1422) [Eubel I, p. 295 n. 9]. Administrator of Lombes [Eubel I, 310].  He was not Archbishop of Aix, as Ciaconius-Olduin aver [cf. Albanès, Gallia christiana novissima (1899), 96-98]. He was, however, Archbishop of Arles (1450-1463), but not until after the death of Cardinal Louis Alaman [Gallia christiana I (584-586; Albanès and Chevalier, Gallia christiana novissima: Arles (1901), 842-869; Eubel II, p. 93]. He was serving as Apostolic Legate in Provence and Aragon at the time of the Conclave of 1431, dealing with King Alfonso and with the liquidation of the Papacy of Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna) and Clement VIII (Gil Sanchez Muñoz) [Muratori Rerum Italicarum Scriptores III. 2, 867; Baronius-Theiner 28, sub anno 1425, no. 1, p. 16; sub anno 1427, no. 21-22, pp. 59-60; sub anno 1429 no. 1-2, p]. He returned to Rome on January 8, 1428 [Baronius-Theiner 28, sub anno 1428, no. 1, p. 61], but was back in Aragon in 1429 (having departed Rome on January 28, 1429, and arrived in Barcelona on May 12) when "Clement VIII" finally gave in and resigned his papacy [Baronius-Theiner 28, sub anno 1429, nos. 1-10, p. 66-71].  He presided over a Synod at Dertosa in September-November, 1429 [J. Saenz de Aguirre (editor), Collectio Maxima conciliorum omnium Hispaniae et Novi Orbis 5  editio altera  (Romae 1755), pp. 321-340; M.F. de Mathiae de Villanuño, Summa conciliorum Hispaniae 3 (Matriti 1785), pp. 213-234].   He had been created cardinal in 1414 by John XXIII, not by Benedict XIII, as in Ciaconius-Olduin [Ciaconius-Olduin II, p. 742; Eubel I, p. 33 n. 6, cites an entry in the records of the Apostolic Camera, on October 30, 1414, authorizing payment for the making of the red hat for Pierre de Foix].
  2. Henry Beaufort (aged 56), son of John of Gaunt, brother of John, Earl of Somerset, and Thomas, Duke of Exeter. Half-brother of Henry IV of Lancaster, King of England. Uncle of King Henry V of England, grand-uncle of Henry VI.  Cardinal Priest in the title of S. Eusebio (1426-1447). Studied canon and civil law at Aachen and Oxford. Doctor (Oxon.). Dean of Wells (1397) [Le Neve Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae I, 151]. Chancellor of Oxford University (1398) [Le Neve III, p. 466].  Bishop of Lincoln (1398-1404) [Eubel I, p. 306]. Bishop of Winchester (1404-1447)   Apostolic Legate in Germany and Bohemia against the Hussites [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1427 no. 1, p. 48 (March 18, 1427); no. 14, p. 55]; he returned to London on September 1, 1428;  on June 22, 1429 he set out again for Bohemia, but was detained in France by the English Regent, the Duke of Gloucester.   Martin V had been warning Beaufort against going to France and employing the symbols and powers of Apostolic Legate, which he enjoyed in England [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1429 nos. 16-20, pp. 75-77].  In January of 1431, Cardinal Beaufort was present at the English Parliament;  in April he returned  to Rouen for the trial of Jeanne d' Arc (January 9, 1431—May 30, 1431), under the presidency of Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais. Beaufort does not appear in the record of the trial, however, until May 24, 1431.  On December 17, 1431, he crowned Herny VI as King of France in Paris.
  3. Niccolò Albergati, OCarth. (aged 55), a nobleman from Bologna; Cardinal Priest (1426-1443), in the title of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, Bishop of Bologna (1417-1426), consecrated on July 4, 1417, by Thomas de Perundulis, Archbishop of Ravenna, assisted by the Bishops of Modena and Imola [Zanotti, 69].  Administrator of Bologna (1426-1443). On February 8, 1422, he was appointed Nuntius to France and England, for the purpose of arranging a peace (1422-1423); the deaths of Henry V and Charles VI frustrated his mission. In 1426 he was sent to the Po Valley, to attempt to bring peace Filippo Visconti of Milan and the Venetians and Florentines [cf. Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1426 no. 21, p. 43 and 25, p. 45-46]. He was Apostolic Legate in Lombardy in April, 1428, when peace was arranged between Milan, Venice, and Florence [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1428 no. 2, p. 61-62]. He was in Verona when Martin V died, and chose not to travel to Rome for the Conclave; he returned to Pescara to await news of a new pope [Zanotti, p. 202-203].  It is alleged, by his pious biographers, that, had he been at the Conclave, he might have been elected pope, such was his reputation.   Made Camerlengo and Major Penetentiary by Eugenius IV.   Died in Siena, May 10, 1443.  Among his secretaries were Tommaso Parentucelli and Aenea Silvio Piccolomini.
  4. Giuliano Cesarini (aged 32), Roman nobleman,  Doctor of Canon Law (Perugia), Professor of Law at Padua; he was brought to Rome through the patronage of Cardinal Branda Castiglione.  Legate in Bohemia, Nuncio in France and then in England (1425, 1426); Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria (1426-1444). He had just been chosen to be Apostolic Legate in Meissen, which was extended to Bohemia, Germany and Poland, against the Hussites, when Martin V died [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1431 no. 1, pp. 85-86].  He was nominated to be Papal Legate to the Council of Basel, which was confirmed by Eugenius IV on June 25, 1431.    Died November 10, 1444, while on yet another mission to Poland and Hungary.
  5. Domingo Ram i Lanaja, CRSA  (aged 61+), Cardinal Priest in the title of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo (1430-1443) [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1430, no. 5, p. 84]. [Ciaconius-Olduin II, 869].

  6. Joannes de Casanova, Cardinal Priest in the Title of S. Sixti, created on November 8, 1430 [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1430, no. 5, p. 84] (name not published). He had been Magister sacri palatii under Martin V (1418-1424).  He was promoted Bishop of Bosa in Sardinia in 1424 [J. Catalano, De magistro sacri palatii pp. 83-86].
  7. Guglielmus Dinanus de Monteforti, named Cardinal Priest in the Title of S. Anastasia by Eugenius IV [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1430, no. 5, p. 84]  (name not published)

This does not take into account

  • Domenico Capranica [Domenico Pantagato da Capranica] (aged 30), a Roman, Doctor of Canon Law (Bologna), later Cardinal Priest of S. Croce in Gerusalemme and before that Cardinal of S. Maria in Via Lata  (died 1458).  Administrator of the See of Fermo. "Firmanus"   Secretary of Martin V.  Appointed cardinal by Martin V (1423), ratified by Eugenius IV (1434). [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1430 no. 5, p. 84].  In 1426 he was named Rector of Forli, Imola and Cervi. From 1426 to 1429 he was Governor of Bologna. He was named Governor of Perugia on July 1, 1430.  See Pastor, History of the Popes I, p. 264.
          Battista Poggio, in his "Cardinalis Firmani vita" [Baluzius, Miscellanea III, 272] remarks on the discussions at the time of the Conclave of 1431
    Ceterum Martino haud multo post mortuo, Dominicus dimissa provincia Romam venit, et ad aedem beati Laurentii via Numentana subsidens, ex amicis quendam in urbem ad collegas misit, qui et publice et privatim a singulis postularet ut venire sibi ad suffragia ineunda pro creando Pontifice liceret, simul et ostenderet illum sua humanitate petere ab iis quod scirent sibi liberum esse.  Sed cum variis inter eos habitis sententiis, prout cujusque animus ambitione aut odio rapiebatur, res longius trahi videretur, missis iterum ad omnes amicis communibus, qui aut id ab eis impetrarent, aut injussum se venturum exponerent, quamvis aequa postulare videbatur, tamen nonnullorum Cardinalium persuasionibus ab incepto destitit affirmantium, si hanc suam, quamvis justam, voluntatem paulum differet, futurum ut facilius quod speraret assequeretur. Expectata ergo novi Pontificis creatione, cum Eugenius ordine quartus, electus esset, statim ad illum misit qui primo ei pro tanta potestate adepta gratularentur, deinde peterent ut se cum Cardinalium insignibus ingredi urbem pateretur. Cum vero procrastinando nedum a Pontifice differri sua postulata videret, verum etiam consiliis quorundam Cardinalium, qui infensi fuerant, aures praebentem de se capiendo consilia agitare, omissa ejus rei mentione, in provinciam reversus Montefalcum Ducatus Spoletani oppidum se contulit.

  • Thomas Langley, Cardinal Priest? (in the title of SS. John and Paul ??  Cf. Eubel I, p. 42 and II, p. 63, where his name does not appear; the title belonged to Tommaso Brancaccio from 1411 to his death in 1427).
          Langley began his career as Chaplain in the household of John of Gaunt, and was one of the executors of his Will. He was made a Canon of York with the Prebendary of South Newbald (1400-1401) and then Dean of York (1402-1406) [Le Neve Fasti Anglicani III, p. 124]. He attached himself to the following of Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, son of John of Gaunt and brother of King Henry IV. Langley was elected Archbishop of York in 1404, and his election was approved by King Henry IV, but the Pope quashed the election in his anger at the execution of Archbishop Scrope for treason.  Langley was made Bishop of Durham (1406-1437) instead.  He was consecrated at St. Paul's in London by Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury (1396-1414), Henry Beaufort of Winchester, and Richard Clifford of Worcester [Stubbs, Registrum sacrum anglicanum (second ed. 1897) p. 84].   He was Lord Privy Seal when appointed Lord Chancellor of England (1405-1407), in succession to Cardinal Beaufort;  he held the office a second time from July 23, 1417, until the death of Henry V, and surrendered the seals to the infant Henry VI on September 1, 1422; he was named Chancellor again and presided over the opening of Parliament in October of 1423;  in July 1424 he surrendered his seals to Cardinal Beaufort.
          He had been named cardinal on June 6, 1411 by Pope John XXIII, but he did not accept the nomination [Eubel I. 33; cf. Eubel II, p. 4 no. 15 and p. 7 n.4]. Considering that the King's brother, Bishop Beaufort, was not yet a cardinal at the time,  nor was Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, it would have been perilous for Langley to accept such an honor. In any case, the King was opposed.   Cf. Le Neve, Fasti III, p. 291.
         He is still called "Bishop of Durham" on August 26, 1411 [ J. A. Twemlow, Calendar of Entries in the Papal the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland VII (London 1906), p. 298].  He did not attend the Council of Constanz, and is not mentioned by anyone as an absent cardinal.  Robert Hallum, however, who was made a cardinal on the same day as Langley, and who also declined the cardinalate, DID attend the Council of Constanz, but only as Bishop of Salisbury and one of the ambassadors of Henry V to the Council [Rymer, Foedera 9, pp. 370-371].  He was not treated as a cardinal.  Bishop Langley died in 1437; he was buried in the Galilee of Durham Cathedral. This is not a case like Capranica's or Ram's. Langley was not a cardinal.


The Electoral Compact

Facilities for holding the Conclave had been prepared for the cardinals in the Convent of the Dominicans, attached to the Basilica of S. Maria sopra Minerva. There is an inscription in the Sacristy of the church which reads: MEMORIAE • CREATIONIS • HIC • HABITAE | SVMM • PONTIF • EVGENII • IIII • ET • NICOLAI • V.  The Mass of the Holy Spirit was sung on Thursday March 1, 1431 by Cardinal Giordano Orsini, the Bishop of Albano, prior Cardinalium.

The cardinals immediately entered into an electoral compact, to which, on Friday March 2, Cardinal Gabriele Condulmaro was a signatory [Baronius-Theiner 28 sub anno 1431, no. 7, p. 84; Gregorovius, 26, citing Reynaldi's text; quoted by Gieseler, Compendium, 312-313 n.3].  He subscribed again on March 3 as Eugenius IV.

Among its eight provisions published by Reynaldus (Gregorovius believed that the document as quoted was incomplete,  VII. 1, p. 26) were articles about the reform of the Roman Curia and demands that it not be moved about or transferred from Rome; and a call for a General Council to reform the entire Church. There were demands for the adherence to decisions made at the Council of Constance about the creation of cardinals, requiring their majority consent to any new creations:

Item, quod non creabit cardinales, nisi juxta formam et ordinationem factam in Concilio Constantiniensi, quam servare tenebitur, nisi de consensu et consilio majoris partis Domm. Cardd. aliud fiendum videretur.

There was a provision binding the pope not to tyrannize over the cardinals' persons or property, and to allow them freedom of speech in consistory. They also demanded that the old tradition be observed, that, in all matters in which the Cardinals ought to have been consulted, the resulting documents should list the names of all of the cardinals who gave their consent—with the exception of promotions to prelacies.


Election of Eugenius IV

On Saturday, March 3, 1431, the forty-eight year old Gabriele Condulmaro was elected unanimously as pope. Paolo di Nicolai dello Maestro noted (Pelaez, 81; Cancellieri, 13):

Alli tre, alle 21 hora, fu creato Papa Eugenio IV, e fu di Sabbato, lo quale si chiamava Monsignore di Siena, et abitava in Trastevere, e fu Venetiano.

The lateness of the hour suggests that there must have been both a scrutiny and an accessio. From succeeding events it seems clear that the Orsini faction, led by Cardinals Giordano Orsini and Lucido Conti, influenced the electors to completely repudiate the habits of Pope Martin V and his family. They had sowed the wind with their arrogance, and were about to reap the whirlwind.

Cardinal Condulmar took the name Eugenius IV. On Sunday, March 11 he was crowned, on the steps of the Vatican Basilica by Cardinal Albornoz, the Cardinal di Santi Quattro. the senior cardinal deacon (Panvinio, 298). Paolo di Nicolai dello Maestro noted (Pelaez, 81; the same information is given in the Diary of Paolo Benedetto Nicolai: Gattico I, 281):

nell'anno preditto a di .XI di marzo fu coronato papa Eugenio in nelle scale di Sancto Pietro, e miseli la renno in capo lo cardinale di Sancti Quattro; e poi annò a Sancto Ioanni Laterano e fu adestrato dalli offitiali di Roma, e poi se ne tornò a Sancto Pietro.

The Diario rerum Romanarum of Stefano Infessura, however, states (p. 26 Tommasini; cf. Platina, 295):

Die 11 martii fu coronato lo ditto Eugenio, secondo lo stile di Santo Ioanne Laterano, et po' alla sua coronazione tornò a palazzo, e fece consistorio generale, et fonce de molte gente nella sala granne, in nella quale per la ditta pressura si ruppe lo arrizatore, e credendo la gente che cadesse la sala grande, ogni homo con festinanza si diè a fuggire , et per la detta pressura ce affocò le vescovo de Senegallia, fratello di Pietro Mellino, et hoc fuit in modo praedicto die 16 martii.

The new Pope immediately set out to revise and clarify the rules for making cardinals. He appointed his nephew Francesco Condulmaro Vice-Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church. On March 12, 1431, he issued a decree convoking an ecumenical Council, to meet at Basle. Cardinal Capranica applied for recognition as a cardinal, but this was refused by Pope Eugenius, perhaps because Capranica was associated with the Colonna. Capranica took his grievance to the Council of Basel. Since he had been elected with the support of the Orsini, Pope Eugenius immediately launched what amounted to a war against his predecessor, Martin V Colonna, and all the Colonna interests; there was good evidence that the Colonna were already conspiring against him within a month of the coronation (Fumi, 611-618). On April 22, 1431, hostilities broke out into the open, as Paolo di Nicolai dello Maestro noted (Pelaez, 81):

nell'anno 1431 a dì 22 di aprile, e fu lo die di sancto Iuorio, venne lo Prencipe [Antonio Colonna, principe di Salerno] cioè lo nepote di papa Martino V, e pigliao porta d'Accia come nemico, e venne per infino a Cancto Iuorio e là si fisse. Partiose Sefano Colonna a dì 24 di aprile e venne per infino alla casa, e poi venne a Sancto Marco con molta iente d'arme e famti, e la trovao la sbarra de' Romani e fecero un granne battaglia dove che Stefano colonna fu rotto e sconfitto da Romani: fulli sbudellato lo cavallo sotto, e furno presi de molti della soa gente, e fullui messa a sacco la casa e qualla dello Prencipe e monte altre case de' loro seoventi.

Soon the entire Ghibelline nobility of Rome and Latium were in arms against the Papacy. On May 18, 1431, Pope Eugenius excommunicated the Colonna. By September the papal adherents were close to a definitive victory, but the illness of the Pope himself (poison?) induced him to offer peace, which was accepted and concluded on September 22, 1431 (Gregorovius, 26-30).


Tomb of Card. Capranica at S. Maria sopra Minerva
Tomb of Cardinal Capranica (Santa Maria sopra Minerva)




Bartolommeo Platina, Historia B. Platinae de vitis Pontificum Romanorum...que ad Paulum II Venetum ... doctissimarumque annotationum Onuphrii Panvinii (Cologne: apud Maternum Cholinum 1568), 294-295. Bartolommeo Platina ed altri autori, Storia delle vite de' pontifici Tomo Terzo ( Venezia: Domenico Ferrarin 1765) 348-352. Onuphrio Panvinio, Epitome Pontificum Romanorum a S. Petro usque ad Paulum IIII. Gestorum (videlicet) electionisque singulorum & Conclavium compendiaria narratio (Venice: Jacob Strada 1557). Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Ecclesia Tomo III (Roma: Pagliarini 1793) 1-61. On Cardinal Cesarini, see the life by Vespasiano da Bisticci, in Vite di uomini illustri del secolo XV (edited by Ludovico Frati) Volume I (Bologna 1893) 109-130. On Cardinal Correr, ibidem, 102-105. On Cardinal Albergati, 105-109. The Life of Pope Eugenius IV is at pp. 5-26. The fame of Vespasiano's style conceals a poverty of historical facts. Stefano Infessura, Diario della citta di Roma (a cura di Oreste Tommasini) (Roma 1890).

Augustinus Theiner (Editor), Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici   Tomus Vigesimus Octavus 1424-1453  (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1874)  [Baronius-Theiner].

Petrus Aloysius Galletti, Inscriptiones Romanae Infimi Aevi Romae Exstantes Tomus I (Romae 1760) cciii, no. 25 (Tomb of Cardinal Domenico Capranica, in the Cloister of Santa Maria sopra Minerva).

Eugène Müntz, Les arts à la cour des Papes pendant le XVe et XVIe siècle. Premier partie. Martin V–Pie II, 1417-1464 (Paris: Thorin 1878) [BEFAR, 4]. 

G. Constant, "Les maîtres de cérémonies du XVIe siècle: leurs Diaires ," Mélanges de l' École français de Rome 23 (1903), 161-229; 319-344. Mario Pelaez, "Il memoriale di Paolo di Benedetto di Cola dello Maestro dello Rione di Ponte, " Archivio della Società romana di storia patria 16 (1893), 41-130.

Gaetano Novaes, Elementi della storia de' Sommi Pontefici terza edizione Volume V (Roma 1822) 89-90.  G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Volume 22 (Roma 1843) 181. F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Volume I (Paris: 1864), 236-252. Francesco Cancellieri, Notizie istoriche delle stagioni e de' siti in cui sono stati tenuti i conclavi nella città di Roma... (Roma 1823) 12-14.  J. C. L. Gieseler, A Compendium of Ecclesiastical History 4th edition, revised and emended (translated by J. Hull) Volume IV (Edinburgh 1853).  Ferdinand Gregorovius, The History of Rome in the Middle Ages (translated from the fourth German edition by A. Hamilton) Volume 7 part 1 [Book XIII, Chapter 1] (London 1900) 22-26.  F. A. Artaud de Montor Histoire des souverains Pontifes Romains Volume III (Paris 1851) 287-288. Ludwig Pastor, History of the Popes (tr. R.F. Kerr) Volume II (St. Louis 1908). Peter Partner, The Papal State under Martin V  (London 1958).

On Cardinal Domenico Capranica, see: Battista Poggio, "Cardinalis Firmani vita," in Stephani Baluzii Miscellaneorum Liber Tertius, hoc est Collectio veterum monumentorum (Paris: Franciscus Muguet 1680), 263-301, esp. 272-273 and 290. J.-B. Christophe, Histoire de la papauté pendant le XVe siècle Tome premier (Paris 1863) 93-96; 116-119. William Cornwallis Cartwright, On the Constitution of Papal Conclaves (Edinburgh 1878) 125-129.  P. A. Kirsch, "Die reservatio in petto bei den Cardinalscreation," Archiv für katholisches Kirchenrecht 81 (1901), 421-432.  M. Morpurgo-Castelnuovo, "Il cardinal Domenico Capranica," Archivio della R. società romana di storia patria, 52 (1929), 1-142. K. A. Fink, "Domenico Capranica als Legat in Perugia 1430-31,"  Römische Quartalschrift, 39 (1931), 269-279. P. Simonelli, La famiglia Capranica nei secoli XV-XVII  (Roma 1973).

On Cardinal Antonio Correr: Vespasiano da Bisticci, Vita di uomini illustri del secolo XV, a cura di P. D'Ancona-E. Aeschliman, (Milano 1951), pp. 72-74.  G.Correr, "De vita et obitu beatae memoriae Antonii episcopi Ostiensis soliloquium ad Deum," in G.Musolino-A. Nievo and S. Trarnonfin, Santi e beati veneziani (Venezia 1963) pp. 189-196, 329-341.

On Cardinal Louis Aleman: Joannes Stilting, SJ, in  Acta Sanctorum  September  V (Antwerp 1755), 436-462.   Domenico Maria Manni, Della vita e del culto del beato Lodovico Alemanni o Alamanni (Firenze: Gaetano Cambiagi 1771). G. Pérouse, Le cardinal Louis Aleman, président du concile de Bâle, et la fin du grand schisme (Paris: Picard 1904). 

On Cardinal Albergati: Ercole Maria Zanotti, Vita del B. Niccolò Albergati (Bologna 1747).

On Cardinal Pierre de Foix:  Francois Baron,  Le cardinal Pierre de Foix, le vieux (1386-1464)  (Amiens: Yvert & Tellier, 1920).

A complete list of all cardinals, of all obediences, from 1378 to 1411, with copious notes, can be found in Martin Souchon, Die Papstwahlen in der Zeit des Grossen Schismas Zweiter Band (Braunschweig: Benno Goeritz 1899) 257-321.

On the Colonna: Luigi Fumi, "I Colonna contro Roma e Papa Eugenio IV nel 431," Bolletino della Società Umbra di storia patria 1 (1895) 611-618. Ridolfo Lanciani, "Il patrimonio della famiglia Colonna al tempo di Martino V (1417-1431)," Archivio della R. Società Romana di Storia Patria 20 (1897), 369-450.

Erich König, Kardinal Giordano Orsini (†1438). Ein Lebensbild aus der Zeit der grossen Konzilien und des Humanismus (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder 1906).    W. Brandmüller, Das Konzil von Konstanz, 1414-18, I. Band (Paderborn 1991), pp. 239-261.

G. Bourgin, "La «familia» pontificia sotto Eugenio IV," Archivio della Societa romanà di storia patria 27 (1904), 203-224. W. Brandmüller, "Der Ubergang vom Pontifikat Martins V. zu Eugen IV.," Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken, 47 (1967), 585-618.


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