February 23, 1447 — March 6, 1447

No coins have been identified.

stemma of Cardinal Ludovico Scarampi Trevisano

The Cardinal Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church was Cardinal Ludovico Scarampi Mezzarota Trevisano. He was born in Padua in 1401, of "low and obscure lineage", where he studied medicine and natural science, obtaining a doctorate from the University of Padua in 1425. His early successes in papal service were in the military sphere. It is said that he was one of Pope Eugenius' many physicians [Gaetano Marini, Degli archiatri ponttifici Volume primo (Roma 1784), xxix, 142-143 ]. In 1435 he was appointed Bishop of Trau, and in 1437 he became Archbishop of Florence. He was appointed Patriarch of Aquileia in 1439. In 1440 he was created Cardinal with the titulus of San Lorenzo in Damaso. He was again successful in the military sphere in 1440, aiding the Papacy and Florence against Niccolò Piccinino the captain of the Lombard League. As Legate of the March of Ancona he freed the March of Ancona from the clutches of Francesco Sforza. In the last months of Pope Eugenius' life he was in charge of all of the castelli and fortified places under papal control He was named admiral of the papal fleet in 1455, and fought the Turks in the eastern Mediterranean (1455-1459), on account of which he did not participate in the Conclave of 1458. He was promoted Cardinal Bishop of Albano in 1465, and died in that year in Rome. He was buried in his titular church. [Cardella III, 95-98; Moroni, Dizionario storico-ecclesiastica 45, 12-14]

The Marshal of the Holy Roman Church and Guardian of the Conclave was Giovanni Battista Savelli. (G. Moroni, Dizionario storico-ecclesiastica 42, 279-280; G. Bourgin, 216 and n.8). He was the son of Paolo Savelli, who had been Captain General of Carlo III of Sicily, of the Duke of Milan, of the Republic of Siena, and of the Republic of Venice (died 1405). In his Will (October 11, 1445), Giovanni Battista calls himself della Santita di Nostro SIgnore il Papa e della corte di Roma marescalco.

Already at the beginning of January, Pope Eugenius was ill and aware that he had not long to live. Pastor (I, 402) dates the beginning of his symptoms on January 12, when he had an audience with the German ambassadors. On February 14, he had a very bad night, wracked with fever (according to the Abbot of San Galgano, writing to the government of Siena: Pastor I, 404-405): "sabbato a sera nostro S. nelle prime hore della nocte li venne una grandissima dibilezza la quale li duro infino a hore viiii. di nocte con grande affanno et con movimento di corpo. Dapoi glie ritornata la febre con fluxo per la qual cosa forte si dubita della vita sua...."   By February 21, many of the Cardinals had gathered in Rome: Venetiarum, Tarentinus, Capuanus, de Flisco, Nicaenus, Poretugalensis, Moriensis, de Estoutevilla, s. Sixti, Aquilegiensis, Firmanus, Valentinensis, de Columpna, s. Mariae novae—a total of fourteen [Eubel II, p. 29, no. 100; cf. 102].  Pope Eugenius IV (Gabriele Condulmaro) died at the Vatican Palace on Thursday, February, 23, 1447, at around 9:00 hours, at the age of sixty-two. He had reigned as Pope for fifteen years, eleven months and twenty-one days (Platina, Historia, 306). Paolo di Benedetto di Cola dello Maestro records (Pelaez, 94; cf. Pastor I, 407-408):

in nelli 1447 a di 23 di febraro e fu uno iovedi a dimane, doi hore nanzi die, morio lo nostro pastore, cioè papa Eugenio quarto, e fu sotterrato in S. Pietro denanzi all' uscio della sacrestia in terra; a cui Dio l'abia misericordia.

Stefano Caffari, a Canon of S. Giovanni Laterano and member of the Papal Court (Coletti, p. 556; 570), provides what is probably an eyewitness account. On the morning of his death, the body of the Pope, with all of the Cardinals in attendance, was carried from his bedchamber by the Penitentiarii of the Vatican Basilica to the "small chapel which had just been painted". There his body lay in state per horam.vested with a mitre on his head. After the vigil he was carried, again by the Penitentiarii, to St. Peter's Basilica, and placed before the High Altar inside the chancel rails. On Friday. the 24th, in the morning, with the body still in place in the middle of the church, with the Cardinals present, the funeral was begun with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Francesco Condulmer, the Vice-Chamberlain and primus Cardinalis. On each of the succeeding eight days, one of the cardinals celebrated a requiem mass according to the ancient custom.


Pope Eugenius had a very disturbed reign. In one sphere, there was the problem of an Ecumenical Council. There had been calls for a council throughout the reign of Martin V, who had great experience as a cardinal and as Pope with councils (Constanz, Pavia in 1423, Siena in 1424), and who emphatically did not want another one (Gieseler IV, 308-311). He used every device at his command to ignore demands, to postpone the summoning, to adjourn the meeting, and to change the venue (Hefele VII.2, 663 n.2), despite the urgent demands of Henry VI and his regent the Duke of Bedford, Jagellon king of Poland, Witold Grand Duke of Lithuania, Eric King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Charles III King of Navarre, and King John I of Portugal. On November 8, 1430, an anonymous manifesto (possibly written by Frederick of Brandenburg and Louis de Brieg his son-in-law) was posted in many places in the city of Rome, stating that if the Pope and Cardinals opposed the summoning of a Council, it was because they were abettors of heretics, and that therefore a Council had the right and duty to depose them (Hefele, VII 2, 666-667). Martin V agreed finally to summon a Council, and appointed Cardinal Giuliano Cesarini as President. One of the bulls authorizing his position granted him the power to prorogue the Council, to dissolve it, or to transfer its meeting place elsewhere than Basel (Hefele VII 2, 668). But before the bulls even reached Cardinal Cesarini, Pope Martin was dead (February 20, 1431).

It fell to Pope Eugenius IV, therefore, to deal with the calls for an ecumenical council. In the electoral capitulations at the Conclave of 1431, there had been a call for the reform of the Curia and for the holding of a General Council. Eugene had signed these capitulations and confirmed them in a bull after his election (Gieseler IV, 312 n. 3). To Eugenius' consternation,the Council of Basel, though poorly attended at first, opened negotiations with the Hussite heretics. The Pope ordered Cardinal Cesarini to dissolve the Council, but, to his shock, Cesarini refused (Gieseler IV, 314-317 nn. 5 and 6). On December 18, 1431, he issued a bull of dissolution, and was ignored. The Council was quickly out of control, reasserting the Conciliar Theory and summoning Pope and Cardinals to answer for their conduct. The Council of Basel refused to disband and constituted itself as a church organ superior to the Pope and the Curia. Several of his own cardinals turned against him, including Louis Aleman and Juan de Cervantes (Gieseler IV, 320 n. 16; cf. Haefele VII 2, 689-690 n.2):

Cardinales plures ab eo recesserunt, aliqui clam insalutato hospite, alii patenter occasione inventa alicuius bonae rei fiendae, et Basileam pergentes

A letter of Ulrich Stoeckel, a Benedictine of Basel, of September 1432 (Concilium Basiliense. Studien und Quellen, p. 62) says that three cardinals were at the Council, Giuliano Cesarini, Juan Carvajal [who was not actually a cardinal] and Domenico Capranica; of a total of twenty-one cardinals eleven were on the side of the Conciliars, the rest adhered to the Pope. (The Pope would have liked to dissolve the Council altogether, but he was restrained by a fear of schism and by the pleas of the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, whom he had crowned in 1433 (Gieseler IV 323 n. 17). In 1434, Greek ambassadors arrived from Constantinople, and the principal matter of discussion became the reunion of the two Churches. Eugenius countered the independent Council by transferring the Council to Ferrara in 1437 (as more convenient for the Greeks and because there was plague in Basel) and then to Florence in 1438. Those who refused to move into territory controlled by the Pope, continued to hold out at Basel. The Council attempted to depose Eugenius (Gieseler IV, 330, 333) and elect a successor (1439-1449)—the Anti-pope Felix V (Amadeus VIII, the first Duke of Savoy). Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, the secretary of Frederick, King of the Romans, lists the supporters of the two sides (Gieseler IV, 334 n. 46):

Gallia quidem, atque Hispania, Italia quoque, Ungaria et Anglia Eugenium sequebantur: Sabaudia, Suicenses, Basilienses, Argentinenses, ac ex Saxonia Caminenses, simul de ducibus Bavariae, Albertus Monaci Felici obedievant. Rex Aragonum et Siciliae Alphonsus, Poloniaque et Britones nec Eugenio nec Felici, sed Concilio Basileensium auscultabant. Reliqua Germania neutralitatem quandam induit.

In his own city of Rome, Eugenius sought to recover both power and land from the Colonna and their allies, which had been given away or sold under the aegis of Pope Martin V (Colonna). This led to a civil war, with the Orsini and their allies supporting the pope, and the eventual exile and outlawing of the Colonna. In May 1434, a revolution in Rome, fomented by the Colonna and abetted by the Condottiere Francesco Sforza, forced Eugenius to flee. He was in exile in Florence until 1443. At the time of his death, Francesco Sforza was in Pesaro. He wrote a letter on March 1, after hearing of the Pope's death, that his intention was not to do anything against the Holy Church or her property, but to be a good son and defend her (Benadduci, 384-385).

Alfonso, King of Naples, medal by Pisano

In the south, the childless Queen Johanna of Naples, adopted one of the sons of the King of Aragon, Alfonso [medallic portrait, by Vittorio Pisano, at left], as her heir. Naples was a papal fief, and these arrangements were without the consent of the pope. But in 1443, Eugenius recognized Alfonso's claims, thereby taking away one of the principal supporters of the Council of Basel and Felix V. But Alfonso continued to be a subject of concern, with his very independent attitude to Eugenius' wishes. The fact that Eugenius finally supported Alfonso did not make the King forget that the Pope had supported his rival Rene of Anjou. At the time of Eugenius' last illness, Alfonso was encamped at Tivoli with an army, to safeguard the city (he said) (Gregorovius, 96). It was reported, however, that Cardinal Scarampi had summoned him, in his own interests. Stefano Infessura's Diario reports (p. 44 Tommasini):

Dell' anno 1447, die nona ianuarii die lunae entrò re di Ragona [Alfonso of Aragon] in Tivoli, et accompagnollo lo Camerlengo et lo Abbate di Santo Paolo cardinale; lo vescovo di Tivoli con tutto lo popolo di Tivoli et lo capo militia li assegnò le chiavi per commannamento de papa Eugenio et dello Patriarca camerlengo, et lo ditto re non le volse tollere, et depoi doi dì le tolse, et le soi genti fecero in Tivoli molti danni de cose di mannucare.

In his last years, Eugenius sought some sort of accord with the Emperor Sigismond's elected successor, Frederick III, who succeeded as king of the Romans in 1440. In the strife at Basel, and in the strife between Basel and Rome, and between Eugenius and Felix, the Emperor and then one after another German prince and bishop had adopted a policy of "neutrality". This gave them a chance to play both sides of the complicated political situation for their own advantage in terms of power, land and benefices. This was producing confusion, chaos and the ever-present chance of schisms. The Emperor, too, saw the Empire degenerating as more and more willful rulers declined to cooperate with him and each other. The way to Frederick's cooperation, as Eugenius discovered, was through money and the secret promise of being crowned Emperor (Gregorovius, 92).

Eugenius made a serious mistake in 1445, however, when he attempted to depose the Archbishops of Trier and Köln. This caused the Electoral Princes to summon a meeting at Frankfurt, for the purpose of making some decisive demands upon the Pope, who, in their view, was interfering excessively in local and regional matters. Eugenius was represented by Cardinals Parentucelli, Jean le Jeune, Juan Carvajal, and by Nicholas of Cusa (Pastor I, 339). Frederick was alarmed at seeing his major vassels combine in a league which was not under his control, and he contrived to have the major part of the attendees at the conference modify the demands of the Princes. An embassy was sent to Rome to present the revised German demands to the Pope (Gieseler IV, 337-342; Gregorovius 91-96). In fact some sixty representatives met at Siena before travelling to Rome in a group (Gregorovius, 94 n.1; Pastor I, 347). When the were given audience by the Pope, the leaders of the delegation were John of Lysura (for the Elector of Mainz), Chancellor Sesselmann (for the Elector of Brandenburg), and Aeneas Piccolomini and Procopius von Rabstein (for the King of the Romans).

Eugenius' cardinals were hardly of one mind  (V. Bayer, Die Historia Friderici III Imperatoris, p. 65).   Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, in his History of Frederick III   (p. 129 Kollar), remarks of the situation in 1147:

Collegium Cardinalium divisum erat, videbaturque magna pars adversari his, quae Francfordiae conclusa erant, atque hi erant maxime Theologi, qui omnia graviora faciunt: ob quam rem Ludovicus Aquilegiensis et Johannes Moriensis Cardinales suadent Eugenio, si velit Ecclesiae pacem habere, novos ut cardinales assumat, qui resistere contradicentibus possint.

The Cardinals who were in favor of a treaty with the German representatives were Parentucelli, Scarampi and Carvajal. Opposed were Torquemada and Borgia, and they were the ones who advised the creation of new cardinals.  On December 16, 1446, therefore,  Pope Eugenius created four new cardinals:

  1. Enrico Rampini, the Archbishop of Milan
  2. Tomasso Parentucelli, the Bishop of Bologna
  3. Juan Carvajal, Bishop-Elect of Plascentia in Spain
  4. Giovanni de Primis, the Abbot of S. Paolo fuori le Mure.

The Pope was finally compelled, however, to agree to the German demands (Baronius-Theiner 28, sub anno 1447 nos. 4-7, pp. 473-477;  Gieseler IV, 342 n. 54; Voigt, 374-375), though, before he signed any of the bulls, he lodged a formal protest that all of his actions were being done under duress and against his will (Gieseler IV, 344 n. 55: the bull Decet). It was left to his successor to undo the damage.


The Cardinals

Eighteen cardinals of a total of twenty-six legitimate members of the Sacred College were in attendance (Bougin, 286; Eubel II, 10 n.2). Another list is provided by the Diaria rerum Romanarum of Stefano Infessura (p. 46 Tommasini). A third list can be found in the diary of Stefano Caffari (Coletti, 570-571). Prospero Colonna was the only cardinal not appointed by Eugenius IV who attended, unless one includes Domenico Capranica (who was made a cardinal in pectore in 1423). Four of Eugenius' creations (Bourgin, 283-285) and four others did not attend the Conclave of 1447 (Panvinio, 311). Of all of Eugenius' creations there was not one Roman. [There were a number of pseudo-cardinals as well, creations of the Anti-Pope Felix V, who, of course, had nothing to do with the Conclave.] Twelve votes were needed to elect.

Cardinals attending:

  1. Francesco Condulmer (aged 37), Suburbicarian Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina (died 1453). Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church (Caffari, in Coletti, p. 570). Bishop of Verona. Nephew of Eugenius IV. "Venetiarum"
  2. Giovanni Berardi (aged 67), a Roman, Suburbicarian Bishop of Palestrina (died 1449). Major Penitentiary. "Tarentinus"

  3. Niccolo d' Acciapaccio (aged 65), Cardinal Priest of S. Marcello (died April 3, 1447). Archbishop of Capua. Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica (Archivio della Società romana di storia patria 30 (1907) 160). A partisan of King Rene of Anjou against Alfonso of Aragon [He had been exiled during the reign of Eugenius IV, under pressure from the King of Naples, and did not return to the city until February 23, after the death of the Pope. Eubel II, p. 29 no. 102; Pastor I, 402 n.].  He died in Rome on April 3, 1447 [Eubel II, p. 29 no. 105].
  4. Giorgio Fieschi (aged ?), Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia (died 1461). Administrator of Luni.
  5. (Giovanni) Bessarion (aged 44), Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli (died 1472). Titular Bishop of Thebes. "Nicenus"
  6. António Martines de Chaves (aged ?), Cardinal Priest of S. Crisogono (died July 6, 1447). Bishop of Porto "Portugalensis" Archpriest of the Lateran Basilica (G. Bourgin, Archivio della Societa romanà di storia patria 27 (1904), 211 n.3)
  7. Jean Le Jeune (aged 36), Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (died 1451). Bishop of Boulogne. "Morinensis"
  8. Guillaume d'Estouteville (aged 44), son of Jean II d'Estouteville, who was made prisoner at Agincourt in 1415, and held for some 20 years; he had two brothers, Louis and Robert, and two sons [Gallia christiana XI, 91].  He was consanguineus in the third grade of the King Charles VI of France.   Cardinal Priest of SS. Silvestro e Martino (1437-1459).   Later he was Suburicarian Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina (1459-1461), and then Bishop of Ostia e Velletri (from October 21, 1461).   He was not a monk and was not Prior of S. Martini in Campis (only Administrator); the first person to mention such things is Ciaconius [H. Denifle, Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis IV (Paris 1898) xx-xxiv].  Protonotarius Apostolicus as early as 1433.   In 1451 he was sent as Legatus a latere to France [Eubel II, p. 31;  Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis IV, no. 2675 (August 27, 1451); Baronius-Theiner 28, sub anno 1451, no. 7, pp. 556-557 (August 15, 1451)].   In 1452, he was engaged in the review of the case of Jeanne d'Arc.  In the same year, he reformed the University of Paris [Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis IV, no. 2690 (June 1, 1452)].  He died on January 22, 1483 [Eubel II, p. 46].
  9. Juan de Torquemada, OP (aged 59), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere.  Cardinal Priest of S. Sisto (1440-1446).      Bishop of Orense (1442-1445),  Bishop of Cadiz (1440-1442).   He died on September 26, 1468, at the age of 80.   He was the author of  De potestate papae et concilii generalis auctoritate; Summa de Ecclesia et eius auctoritate contra impugnatores potestatis summi pontificis; Tractatus contra avisamentum quoddam Basiliensium, quod non liceat appellare a concilio ad papam (1436);  Tractatus in favorem Eugenii IV contra decreta concilii Constantiensis (1433).    Called the Cardinal of S. Sisto. 
  10. Ludovico Scarampi (called Mezzarota) of Treviso [Trevisanus] (aged 45), Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Damaso (died 1465). Patriarch of Aquileia. "Aquilegensis" Camerlengo S.R.E. [Infessura, 46 Tommasini;  G. Bourgin, Archivio della Societa romanà di storia patria 27 (1904), 214]
  11. Domenico Capranica, a Roman, Cardinal Priest of S. Croce in Gerusalemme and Cardinal of S. Maria in Via Lata in commendam (died 1458). Administrator of Fermo. "Firmanus" Secretary of Martin V. Appointed cardinal by Martin V (1423), ratified by Eugenius IV (1434).  Nicholas V appointed him Rector of the March of Ancona on April 19, 1447 [Eubel II, p. 29 no. 106].
  12. Alfonso de Borja (aged 68), Cardinal Priest of SS. Quattro Coronati (died 1458). Archbishop of Valencia "Valentinensis"
  13. Enrico Rampini (aged 57), Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente (died 1450). Archbishop of Milan.
  14. Tommaso Parentucelli da Sarzana (aged 49), Cardinal Priest of S. Susanna (died 1455). Bishop of Bologna.
  15. Giovanni de Primis (aged ?), OSB.Cas., Cardinal Priest of S. Sabina (died 1449) .

  16. Prospero Colonna (aged 38), Roman nobleman, nephew of Pope Martin V. Cardinal (1426-1463) Deacon of S. Giorgio_in_Velabro [Eubel, II, 6]. 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).
  17. Pietro Barbo (aged 30), Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria Nuova (died 1471). Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica.
  18. Juan Carvajal (aged 48), Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria (died 1469). Bishop of Plasencia.  A week after the election, he was sent by Nicholas V as Legatus a latere to Germany [Eubel II, p. 29 no. 103].

Cardinals not attending:

  1. Pierre de Foix, OFM (aged ca. 62) (1385-1464), Suburbicarian Bishop of Albano. [Eubel, I, 33 (18); II, 5 (20); Cardella, 27-28]. He was the fourth son of Archambaud de Grailly, captal de Buch, comte de Benauges, and Isabelle de Foix. By the terms of their marriage contract, the children assumed the name Foix. He was born in Bordeaux [F. de Grailly, Memoires...Vaucluse 16 (1897) 327-328, 338]. Legate in Avignon and the Venaissan.  Pope Nicholas V appointed him Vicar, with the power of a Legatus a latere, in Avignon and the Venaissan, just as Eugenius IV had done [Eubel II, p. 29 no. 108].
  2. Henry Beaufort (aged ca. 73), Cardinal Priest of S. Eusebio (died 1447). Bishop of Winchester.
  3. Juan Cervantes (ca. 67), Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli (died 1453). Made a cardinal by Martin V. On March 27, 1447, three weeks after the election, Nicholas V promoted him Cardinal BIshop of Ostia [Eubel II, p. 29 no. 104].
  4. John Kempe (aged 67), Cardinal Priest of S. Balbina (died 1454). Archbishop of York. [Miranda, in the face of all the sources, lists him as participating in the Conclave !]
  5. Isidore of Kiev (aged 67?), Cardinal Priest of SS. Marcellino e Pietro (died 1463).
  6. Zbigniew Oleśnicy (aged 57), Cardinal Priest of S. Prisca (died 1455). Bishop of Kraków. Regent of Poland for King Kasimir IV.
  7. Petrus von Schaumberg (aged 59), Cardinal Priest of Ss. Vitale (died 1469). Bishop of Augsburg.
  8. Dénes Szécsi (aged 47), Cardinal Priest of S. Ciriaco alle Terme Diocleziane (died 1465). Aarchbishop of Strigonia (Esztergom).

Facade of S. Maria sopra Minerva
The Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the Convent at left


During the novendiales, the Cardinals met daily, after lunch, in the Sacristy of the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva to conduct business (Stefano Caffari, in Coletti, p. 570). Niccolo d' Acciapaccio, the Cardinal of Capua, a popular candidate for the Throne of Peter, returned immediately to Rome and was present at the various events. Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini remarks (Stephani Baluzii Miscellaneorum Liber Septimus, p. 548):

Cardinalis Capuanus ut audivit Eugenium mortuum Roman venit, magnoque populi ac cleri favore exceptus est, exequiisque interfuit, & pro illo preces effudit qui ipsum in exilium miserat. Magni consilii vir fuit multarumque litterarum, aetate ac moribus maturus. Multi papatum illi auspicabantur. Sed non quae populi est opinio, eadem est senatus. Raro vulgus cum sapientibus sentit. Pauci ex Cardinalibus remotiores illo fuerunt a summo pontificio. Is post electionem factam in morbum incidid, Eugeniumque secutus est.

Though the Cardinal of Capua may have been the favorite of the populus, Piccolomini (p. 552) says that, when the cardinals were entering Conclave, the common opinion was that Prospero Colonna would be elected pope. He was supported by Carampi, the Patriarch of Aquileia, Jean le Jeune (Morinensis), and a number of others; he was opposed by the two Cardinal Bishops, Condulmer and Berardi. On the last day of the novendiales a dramatic sermon, on the election of a successor to Pope Eugenius, was given by Tommaso Parentucelli da Sarzana, the Bishop of Bologna. Several Roman barons had assembled to see to the future election of a pope; they were told to leave, and all the others were ordered not to come. The Conclave was enclosed on Saturday, March 4, 1447, according to the records of the Diarium camerale (Bourgin, 286):

Exequis fe(licis) re(cordationis) Domini Eugenii pap(a)e .iiij. complectis die sabbati quarta mensis marcii anni predicti, quae fuit decima ab obitu dicti domini Eugenii, hora vesperorum, R(everendissi)mi in Christo patres et domini Domini cardinales infrascripti intraverunt conclave in ecclesia S(ancta)e Mari(a)e de Mirenda [sic] de Urbe pro futuro pontifice eligendo, videlicet: Venetiarum, Tarentinus, Capuanus, Flisco, Nicenus, Portugalensis, Morinensis, Estoutevilla, S(anc)ti Sixti, Aquilegensis, Firmanus Valentinensis, Mediolanensis, S(anc)t(a)e Sabin(a)e, Boneniensis novi pape electus, Columpa, S(anc)t(a)e Mari(a)e nov(a)e, S(anc)ti Angeli.

This is in agreement with the notes of Paolo di Benedetto di Cola dello Maestro (Pelaez, 94; differences as to the hour: Pastor II, 6 n):

nelli 1447 a dii 4 dello mese di marzo, e fu de sabato alle 22 hore, li cardinali si misero in conclave in nella Minerva, e furono in tutto .XVIII. cardinali, e stettero per infino nello lunedi ad ora de terza e ferono papa monsigniore de Bologna, et era de Serazano, et era di s vile natione che non avea arma e fece per arma la chiave, altrimente era uno valente homo di scientia e fe' de molte defitia, e chiamasi papa Nicola quinto.

Facilities had been prepared for the cardinals in the Convent of the Dominicans, attached to the Basilica of S. Maria sopra Minerva. The dormitory of the convent was used for the cells of the cardinals, not, as usual, made of wood, but merely of hung cloth partitions. There is an inscription in the Sacristy of the church which reads: MEMORIAE • CREATIONIS • HIC • HABITAE | SVMM • PONTIF • EVGENII • IIII • ET • NICOLAI • V. The Dominican convent was chosen for the conclave for the sake of security, since the square in front of the Basilica was easily closed off and defended. The interior custodians were the Archbishop of Ravenna (Bartolomeo Rovarella: Bourgin, 216 n. 7), the Bishop of Ancona (Giovanni Caffarelli: Eubel II 87), the Bishop of Aquila (Amico Agnifili: Eubel II 91), and the Bishop 'Semocensis' (Sermoneta, according to the author of Conclavi) (Piccolomini, 550; Conclavi, 34). The author of Conclavi states that it was the Bishop of Aquileia, but the Patriarch of Aquileia was Cardinal Scarampi Trevisano; he has misread Piccolomini, and has invented a bishop of Sermoneta.

Election of Nicholas V

Shortly before his death, Pope Eugenius had renewed the legislation of the Councils of Lyons and of Vienne on the subject of papal elections (Rainaldi ad annum 1447 item no. 12). The Conclave opened on Saturday, March 4.   On that day, Marcolino Barbavaria wrote to Francesco Sforza from Rome that the Cardinals hoped for a speedy election, though the opinions as to who should be pope were various (Pastor II, 6 n.):

Per altre le mie ho advisata la S.V. de la morte del papa e de quanto me accadeva circa cio ne da poi e innovato altro, accepto che li cardinali questa sera sono intrati in conclave e sperasse che assay tosto elegeranno un altro papa et molto sono le opinioni diverse al chi debbia tochare la electione.

The proceedings, which were witnessed by Stefano Caffari personally (Coletti, 572), began in the late afternoon, when the Cardinals met in the Sacristy of the Minerva at XXI hours. As they looked on, one of the masters of ceremonies removed the Blessed Sacrament from the Church and carried it to the chapel to be used by the Conclave. At XXIIII hours, led by a Subdeacon carrying the processional cross and by the monks of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the Cardinals proceeded two by two, singing the Veni Creator , into the Conclave, which was sealed. The Custodians of the Conclave were the Imperial Ambassadors (one of whom was Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who left an account of the events in a letter to Frederick, King of the Romans), the Ambassadors of the Emperor of Constantinople, and the Ambassador of the King of Aragon (Caraffa of Naples), who had their headquarters in the Chapter House of the Minerva (Piccolomini, p. 550, says that their statio was in Campidolio—that is, their residence).

On Sunday morning, March 5, a solemn Mass was celebrated in the Minerva by the Papal Vicar, with the participation of all the prelates, and was followed by a procession around the Minerva, invoking God's aid on the cardinals. In the first scrutiny, on Sunday, Cardinal Colonna received ten votes, Capranica (Firmanus) eight, and Parentucelli (Bononiensis) five. There was only one scrutiny on that day.

On Monday, March 6, 1447, there was talk of electing someone from outside Conclave, perhaps the Archbishop of Benevento (who was Astorgio Agnesi, the locum tenens Camerarii: Eubel II 104; Bourgin, 215 and n. 1) or the Archbishop of Florence (Antonio Forcilioni: Eubel II 154), or Nicholas of Cusa. A second scrutiny took place. Colonna again received ten votes, and Parentucelli three. At that point Jean le Jeune made an impassioned speech, pointing out the danger in which the Cardinals stood, with the King of Aragon threatening their walls, Amadeus of Savoy plotting against them, and Francesco Sforza their sworn enemy not far from the city. He made it clear that Colonna could get ten votes. If one person would accede to him, a second would not be lacking. At that point, Parentucelli rose, and announced he wished to accede to Cardinal Colonna. But Berardi, the Bishop of Palestrina, fearing what would happen if this were to take place, asked Parentucelli to stop for a moment. He was being blind in rushing the Conclave. "Nihil tarde fit quod bene fit." ('Nothing is done slowly that is done well.') Then Scarampi interrupted, pointing out that everything that Berardi was saying was to the detriment of Colonna's candidacy. If that was his aim, whom did he want to be pope? Berardi replied, "Bononiensis". "That's fine with me," Scarampi replied. Le Jeune acceeded. Suddenly Parentucelli had eleven votes. Cardinal Torquemada (Sancti Sixti) joined in, saying, "Et ego te, Thoma, Pontificem facio. Nam et vigiliam hodie Beati Thomae facimus." Presently all the others gave their approval. The forty-eight year old Tommaso Parentucelli da Sarzana was elected unanimously (Panvinio, 311) as pope (Bourgin 286):

Anno predicto, die vero lun(a)e sequenti sexta mensis martii, predicta hora nona vel quasi, R(everendissi)mus in Christo pater et dominus, Dominus Bononiensis t(i)t(u)li S(anc)t(a)e Susann(a)e assumptus fuit assumi apicem apostolatus, et vocatus Nicolaus .V. (quintus), associatus supradictis car(inalibus) usque ad ecclesiam S(anc)ti Petri dictam ad palatium papale.

It is stated by the author of Conclavi de' pontefici romani (p. 35) that there were two scrutinies on Monday, March 6. This author is depending entirely on the account of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who does not state that there were two scrutinies on March 6. What he says is that there were two scrutinies (p. 552): "simultates autem fuisse et urbis divisiones. Duo scrutinia feruntur habita." It appears that the author of Conclavi believes that the changes in votes after the intervention of Jean de Jeune and Parentucelli's wish to accede to Colonna constituted a separate third scrutiny (and so Ludwig Pastor, p. 11, understands it, while fussing over the exact hour, p. 12 n.). Whether it was a separate scrutiny or an accessio after the one and only scrutiny of the day cannot be determined with certainty. But Piccolomini is a clear and precise writer, whereas the author of Conclavi inserts one error after another in his narration.  The new pope, Nicholas V (Tommaso Parentucelli) wrote of the Conclave in his electoral manifesto, Immensa summi Dei  (March 21, 1447), saying only that there was intense politicking:

ubi tertia die, quae fuit sexta praesentis mensis, Missa in honorem Sancti Spiritus de more celebrata, post diligentem tractatum (prout tantae rei dignitas poscebat) habitum, praedicti Fratres eius qui invocatus fuerat gratia eorum cordibus infusa, nos tunc Tituli sanctae Susannae Presbyterum Cardinalem in Summum Pontificem elegerunt, grave onus et nostris viribus impar nostris humeris imponendo.

Stefano Caffari (Coletti, 572-573), however, says that the election took place at XVI hours de mane. But it was a confused morning. It may be that he is referring not to the public announcement by the Cardinal Protodeacon, Cardinal Prospero Colonna, of the election, but to the enthronement of the new Pope which took place statim at the High Altar in the Minerva, where per Cardinales et populum Romanum fuit ut papa et vicarius Jeshu Christi adoratus. Piccolomini records that there was some confusion when Colonna made the announcement. He thrust the papal cross through an upstairs window in the Convent of the Minerva, and shouted the announcement to the crowd below. Since it was hard to hear what he was saying from a distance, the crowd assumed that the man with the papal cross in his hands was the one who had been elected. Suddenly the barricades were broken through, and the Orsini rushed home to get their arms and defend themselves and their property. Colonna's palace was sacked by the happy crowds. But when the false report was corrected, the crowd sacked the home of Cardinal Acciapaccio (Capuanus) too.

At XVIIII hours, Pope Nicholas went in procession to St. Peter's, where he visited the altar and made an oration, and then repaired to the Vatican Palace. There, with Stefano Caffari being present to witness, a banquet was provided, and the Pope received everyone in the Camera di Pappagallo de sero.

The King of Aragon was said to have taken the news badly, since he had supported Colonna (Piccolomini, 554; Fra Cruilles, in Calmette, 420, 424).


Pope Nicholas was crowned at St. Peter's on Sunday, March 19, Laetare Sunday (Bourgin, 286; Eubel II, 10):

Anno predicto, die vero dominico .iiijto. .xliije. (i.e. the fourth Sunday after Quadragesima) in qua cantatur "laetare", qu(a)e fuit .xix. mensis marcii, S(anctissi)mus in Christo pater et dominus noster d(ominus) N(icolas) divina providentia papa .Vtus. fuit coronatus supra gradus ecclesi(a)e S(anc)ti Petri cum omnibus solep(ni)bus in tali fieri solitis, ibidem axntis .xvij. car(dinalibus suprascriptis. Demum ascendit equum album, et deferens rosam gressus suos direxit ad Sanctum Johannem Lateranensem una cum dictis dominis cardi(nali)bus, episcopis, prothonotariis et aliis officialibus.

Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini participated in the coronation, carrying the cross between the two Ceremoniere, and in the possessio at the Lateran Basilica, and left an extended description (Baluzio, 557-559). At the Lateran, he remarks, "prelatis et oratoribus pecuniae datae sunt: Cardinalibus argentei duo, unus autem aureus; et aliis aureus et argenteus. Longum jejunium longamque vexationem haec pecunia pensavit, quae eo dulcior fuit quia cum fine laborum venit." These appear to have been commemorative medals.

New Cardinals

On February 16, 1448, Nicholas V created one new cardinal, Antonio Cerda, the Archbishop of Messina in Sicily (died 1459). On Friday, December 20, 1448, during the Quatuor Temporum, he created six more cardinals, with the consent of all the cardinals who attended the Consistory, according to the Consistorial Diary of Jacobus Radulphi (quoted in D. Georgii Vita Nicolai V, pp. 56-57):

On April 23, 1449, he named Amadeo di Savoia (Antipope Felix V), who had recanted and resigned, to be Bishop of Sabina, and on December 19, 1449, he liquidated the last remnants of the Council of Basle, by making three of Felix V's cardinals Cardinals S.R.E. (Jean d'Arces [d. 1454], Louis de la Palud [d. 1451], and Guillaume d'Estaing [died 1455]). 



Giuseppe Coletti, "Dai diari di Stefano Caffari," Archivio della Società Romana di storia patria 8 (1885), 555-575.   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, Historia B. Platinae de vitis pontificum Romanorum ...cui etiam nunc accessit supplementum... per Onuphrium [Panvinium]... et deinde per Antonium Cicarellam (Cologne: Cholini 1600) 295-307.  "Vita Eugenii Papae", in Etienne Baluze, Stephani Baluzii Miscellaneorum Liber Septimus (Paris 1715), pp. 506-524. "Aenea Sylvii Senensis... de morte Eugenii IV. creationeque & coronatione Nicolai V..," Stephani Baluzii Miscellaneorum Liber Septimus (Paris 1715) 525-562; and in Ludovicus Antonius Muratorius, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomi Tertii Pars Altera (Mediolani 1734), 877-898.   Bartolommeo Platina ed altri autori, Storia delle vite de' pontifici Tomo Terzo ( Venezia: Domenico Ferrarin 1765) 358-373. Onuphrio Panvinio, Epitome Pontificum Romanorum a S. Petro usque ad Paulum IIII. Gestorum (videlicet) electionisque singulorum & Conclavium compendiaria narratio (Venice: Jacob Strada 1557) 298-306; 311-312. Odoricus Raynaldus [Rainaldi] (editor), Annales Ecclesiastici Volumes 7-10 (Lucca 1752-1753).   [Gregorio Leti], Conclavi de' pontefici romani (1667), 29-37.   Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Ecclesia Tomo III (Roma: Pagliarini 1793) 1-107. Stefano Infessura, Diario della citta di Roma (a cura di Oreste Tommasini) (Roma 1890). Dominicus Georgius [Giorgi], Vita Nicolai Quinti (Romae 1742).

Adam Franciscus Kollar, Analecta monumentorum omnis aevi Vindoboniensia Tomus II (Vindobonae 1762) [Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, Historia rerum Friderici III Imperatoris, pp. 1–473]

Antonius Panormitanus, Alphonsi Arragonis Regis dicta et facta memorabilia,  in  Johannes Gerhardus Meuschenius, Vitae Summorum Dignitate et Eruditione Virorum   Tomus II (Coburgii: apud Jo. Georgium Steinmarckium 1736).   1-27.

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 Societa romana di storia patria 16 (1893), 41-130.

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).   Victor Bayer, Die Historia Friderici III Imperatoris des Enea Silvio de' Piccolomini   (Prag 1872).   Georg Voigt, Enea Silvio de' Piccolomini als Papst Pius der Zweite, und sein Zeitalter   Erster Band (Berlin:Georg Reimer 1856) 381-411.   J. B. Sägmüller, Die Papstwahlen und die Staaten von 1447 bis 1555 (Tübingen: H. Laupp 1890).   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) 97-99; 101-108.   Ludwig Pastor, History of the Popes (tr. R.F. Kerr) third edition, Volume I (St. Louis 1906); Volume II (St. Louis 1908), 3-26. Calmette, "L' élection du pape Nicolas V (1447), d après une lettre du prieur Catalan de Sent Lorens del Mont," Mélanges d' archéologie et d' histoire de l' École française de Rome 23 (1903) 419-425 [Letter of Fra Cruilles to the Council of Barcelona, March 24, 1447]

On Cardinal Domenico Capranica, see 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 der Cardinalscreation," Archiv für katholisches Kirchenrecht 81 (1901) 421-432. On Cardinal Pierre de Foix: F. de Grailly, "Révolte des Avignonais et des Comtadins contre le Pape Eugène IV et leur soumission par le Légat Pierre de Foix (1433)," Mémoires de l' Académie de.Vaucluse 16 (1897) 324-343.

On Cardinal d'Estouteville, Marguerite Mollier, Le cardinal Guillaume d' Estouteville et le Grand VIcariat de Pontoise (Paris: Plon 1906).

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

On Francesco Sforza's career, see: Giovanni Benadduci, Della signoria di Francesco Sforza nella Marca, e peculiarmente in Tolentino (Tolentino 1892). The chronicles of the city of Fermo are also of interest, especially for the career of Cardinal Capranica as Legate of the Marches: Marco Tabarrini (editor), Cronache della città di Fermo (Firenze 1870 [Documenti di storia Italiana, Tomo IV].

Selections from records of the Apostolic Chamber referring to French cardinals contain a number of important entries: G. Bourgin, "Les cardinaux français et le diaire caméral de 1439-1486," Mélanges d' archeologie et d' histoire 24 (1904), 277-318. G. Bourgin, "La «familia» pontificia sotto Eugenio IV," Archivio della Società romana di storia patria 27 (1904), 203-224 [valuable for Ludovico Scarampi, the Camerlengo; the funeral of Eugenius IV, etc.].

Council of Basel: Charles-Joseph Hefele, Histoire des conciles (translated from the second German edition and annotated by H. Leclercq) Tome VII, deuxième partie (Paris Letouzey 1916).   Concilium Basiliense. Studien und Quellen zur Geschichte des Concils von Basel Band I: Studien und Dokumente 1431–1437 (Basel 1896).   J. C. L. Gieseler, A Compendium of Ecclesiastical History (fourth edition, revised and emended, translated by J. W. Hull) Volume 4 (Edinburgh 1853).

November 23, 2016 6:35 PM

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