March 28, 1285 —April 2, 1285

On January 22, 1284 the City of Rome drove out the forces of King Charles I of Naples, which had been garrisoning the city. Charles'  "pro-Senator", Goffredo del Dragona, was imprisoned, and the Senatorship of King Charles dissolved. The brother of Cardinal Latino Malabranca Orsini, Giovanni Clinthii Orsini, was appointed Captain of the city and Defensor rei (publicae) (Gregorovius, 499).  Pope Martin IV, who was in Orvieto, had no choice but to accept the fact. On April 30, 1284, he wrote to the Romans from Orvieto (Gregorovius, 500 n.1; Vitale, Storia diplomatica de' senatori di Roma  I, p. 192-199; Olivieri, Il senato romano I, p. 202):

Concedimus vobis vicarium, vel vicarios et camerarium—Joannes Cinthii sicut capitaneus super grassiae facto dumtaxat. Tolerabimus—volentes—experimento probare,—an expediat vobis in posterum, quod remaneant artium capita.

The two vicarii were Annibaldo Annibaldi, son of Pietro Annibaldi, and Pandolfo Savelli, Cardinal Savelli's brother.

Riccardo Annibaldi, who had caused such trouble with the Conclave at Viterbo, was now forced to seek pardon and do penance at the home of Cardinal Matteo Orsini. A public reconciliation of the two factions took place [Cf.  P. Savignoni, Archivio della Società romana di storia patria  18 (1895), 310-314].

King Charles I of Naples, who had lost Sicily, finally died on January 7, 1285, freeing the Papacy from a man who had been a great help and a great plague on central Italy since 1265. Martin IV, suffering from a slow fever, died in Perugia on March 28, 1285 (v. kalend. Apr.) and was buried in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo (Platina, Storia 148). The continuator of Martinus Oppaviensis' Chronicon (MGH SS XXII, 482) states that Pope Martin was stricken ill on Easter Sunday, March 25, and died on Wednesday, March 28;  he provides additional details:

Et parum post videlicet die annunciationis virginis Mari(a)e, qu(a)e fuit in die resurrectionis Domini, postquam celebrasset, solitamque refectionem cum suis capellanis sumpsisset, arripuit eum infirmitas occulta, ex qua licet se graviter pati diceret, eius phisici morbum et causam ignorantes, in eo nullum mortis indicium asserebant, die Mercurii proximo sequenti circa noctis horam quasi sextam debitum solvens condicionis human(a)e, ad Dominum, ut certis opinatur indiciis, transmigravit.... et qui scripsit h(a)ec, vidit ea.

The popular story, which draws unfriendly attention to Martin IV's gluttony, says that he died of overindulgence of eels. The executor of his Will was Cardinal Giacomo Savelli (Cardella, 302).  Fra Salimbene [Chronica, p. 332] insists that the body of Martin IV was buried at Assisi in the Church of St. Francis.  This is nothing but an absurd fantasy of another monkish chronicler, this time a Franciscan.

Martin IV never visited Rome.  He spent most of his reign at Orvieto, or Montefiascone, or Perugia.



The Electors

.At the time of Pope Martin's death, there were eighteen cardinals (Eubel Hierarchia Catholica I second edition [1913], 10 n. 11). Panvinio (pp. 183-184) provides a list of nineteen cardinals.

Cardinals attending:

  1. Latino Malabranca Orsini, OP, [Romanus] (son of Angelo Malabranca; Nicholas III's nephew by his sister Mabilia Orsini. She was sister of the Matteo Rosso Orsini 'di Montegiordano', who was Roman Senator in 1279), Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Velletri. He had been deputed by Nicholas to manage the elections for Senator in August, 1278 (Kaltenbrunner, Actenstücke 120; Posse 916), and then, in September, been appointed Legate for Tuscany and the Romagna [ Actenstücke 131; Posse 931; his instructions: Actenstücke 145], a post which he exercised throughout the reign. In October 1278, he arranged peace in Florence and the Romandiola [Giovanni Villani Cronica VII. lvi]. But it is reported that he fled in the wake of the earthquake of May 1, 1279, which was centered in the neighborhood of Ancona [Fra Salimbene, Chronica p. 273-274 ed. Parma 1857].  Bologna and the people of the Romandiola were frightened into making a peace, arranged by Cardinal Latino [Potthast 21588 (May 29, 1279)].  He also excommunicated the people of Parma for turning on the Dominicans in the city because they burned a woman at the stake [Fra Salimbene, Chronica p. 273-274 ed. Parma 1857].  He died on August 9, 1294 ["Note Necrologiche di S. Sabina," in P. Egidi, Necrologie e libri affini della provincia Romana (Roma 1908), p. 296; Santa Sabina was a Dominican convent].
  2. Bentivenga de Bentivengis, OFM  [Acquasparta, Tudertinus (Todi)], Cardinal Bishop of Albano.  In 1264 he was personal chaplain of Cardinal Stephen Bancsa, Bishop of Palestrina [Eubel, "Registerband", p. 3—though Eubel believed at the time that Cardinal Stephen had died in 1266, rather than 1271]. He had then been a chaplain and an "intimus amicus" (according to Fra Salimbene)  of Cardinal Johannes Orsini, a fellow Franciscan, who became Nicholas III (This could have been between 1271 and 1276).  On December 18, 1276, he was named Bishop of Todi [Eubel Hierarchia  p. 501 and n. 2].  He was created Cardinal Bishop of Albano on March 12 or 13, 1278.   Penitentiary [Cardella II, p. 13; though this seems to have been only a special appointment: Sägmüller, Die Thätigkeit, p. 107. The cardinalatial office of Major Penitentiarius as such may have not yet existed.  Eubel ["Der Registerband", p. 20] quotes an entry in the register: "Memorandum, quod sanctissimus pater dominus Nicolaus, summus pontifex, mandavit venerabili B. Alban. episcopo Viterbii in camera sua, ut usque ad festum dominicae Resurrectionis proximae futurae adsisteret et iuvaret poenitentiarios in his, quae essent cum ipso domino expedienda contingentia officium poenitentiariae." (September 26, 1279)].  He continued to function as Penitentiary during the Sede Vacante of 1280-1281, and his powers were renewed under Martin IV [Eubel, "Der Registerband", p. 21 (March 3, 1281)].  He records issuing a decree on  August 10, 1286 [Eubel, "Der Registerband", p. 58 no. 51], and in 1287 during the Sede Vacante, at Santa Sabina on May 14 [Eubel, "Der Registerband", p.63 no. 57], and again on March 16, 1288 at St. Peter's [Eubel, "Der Registerband", p.65 no. 61].   Magister in Theologia.  Fra Salimbene calls him Frater Beneceven (sub anno 1277, p. 272).   He died at Todi on March 25, 1289 [it was actually 1290: see "Chronica Generalium Ministrorum" in Analecta Franciscana III (1897), p. 369 n. 6 and 420].
  3. Ordoño Álvarez, Suburbicarian Bishop of Frascati (died December 21, 1285).
  4. Girolamo Masci d' Ascoli, O.Min. [Lisciano, near Ascoli], Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina (1281). (future Pope Nicholas IV, 1288-1292). Former Minister General of the Franciscans (1274-1279)  [Fra Salimbene, sub anno 1277, p. 272].  He was the associate of John of Vercellae, OP, sent to arrange a peace between Philip of France and Alfonso of Spain on October 15 [Potthast 21165; and see Baronius-Theiner 22, sub anno 1277, no. 47, p. 402].  He and John were again appointed to the same task on April 4, 1278 [Potthast 21294-21295; 21310]. Girolamo was ordered to continue on as Minister General of the Franciscans until otherwise provided [Potthast 21356].  On May 16, 1279, Pope Nicholas III wrote to the General Chapter of the Franciscans, meeting at Assisi, that Cardinal Girolamo could not attend propter corporis infirmitatem [Potthast 21582]. In 1283 he and Cardinal Giacomo Colonna were sent as legates to the Romagna to compose the differences between Guelfs and Ghibellines. Doctor in Theology (Perugia).    (died April 4, 1292).

  5. Ancherius Pantaleoni, nephew of Pope Urban IV,   Cardinal Priest (1261) of Santa Prassede   † November 1, 1286, according to his memorial inscription in Santa Prassede (P .Fedele, Archivio della Societa romanà di storia patria 27 (1904), 31).
  6. Hugh of Evesham [English], Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina.  A physician [Marini, Degli archiatri pontifici  I, p. 27].  According to the manuscript of John Bale's mid-16th century  Index Britanniae Scriptorum [Anecdota Oxoniensia 9 (Oxford 1902),  pp. 170 (edited by Reginald Lane Poole)], he was a Doctor of Medicine and the author of Quaestiones  on Isaac's liber febrium.  He was Rector of Welton and Hemingbrough in the Diocese of York, appointed by Archbishop Giffard (1266-1279) [Register of Walter Giffard, Archbishop of York , 56, 57].  At the time of his death, according to his Will, he was also possessed of Goxhill and Spofforth [Brentano, Two Churches, p. 54].   In 1269, Master Hugh of Evesham was one of the professors at Oxford who became drawn into the controversy between the Dominicans and Franciscans [A. Little, The Grey Friars at Oxford (Oxford 1892), Appendix C, pp. 76-77 and 331, 333].   Archdeacon of Worcester 1275-1287 [Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae III, p. 74; the appointment was made by Bishop Godfrey Giffard (1268-1302), brother of Archbishop Walter Gifford of York [Register of Bishop Godfrey Gifford II, p. 334]. It may be noted that Evesham is in Worcestershire, in the Blackenhurst Hundred. Is there perhaps a connection with Hugh's sometime sobriquet Atratus?  One of the two parish churches at Evesham was St. Lawrence].   On June 9,1275, Archdeacon Hugh was granted permission by Bishop Gifford to go to "parts beyond the sea" for the purpose of study [Register of Bishop Godfrey Gifford II, p. 74].  But on September 16, 1275, he received a mandate from the Bishop to proclaim the intended purgation of a criminal of his crime [Register of Bishop Godfrey Gifford II, p. 85].
          He is the "Magister Hugo de Ewesan", canon of York, who participated in the election of William Wickwane, Chancellor of York, as Archbishop of York, on June 22, 1279. Chancellor William voted for Hugh [Registres de Nicolas III, 559; Bliss, Calendar of Papal Registers I, p. 459;  Le Neve Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae III, p. 103].   The Archbishop-elect travelled to Italy (the pope being at Castro Suriano and Viterbo that summer), in expectation of confirmation and the pallium.  After examination, however, his election was suppressed on technical grounds by Nicholas III and then granted to him by the Pope by way of preferment (the documents are dated on September 19, 1279 [W. Brown (ed.),  The Register of William Wickwane, Lord Archbishop of York (1279-1285) (Surtees Society 1907), p. 305]).  William was consecrated at Viterbo by Pope Nicholas III [Stubbs, Registrum sacrum Anglicanum, p. 65], on the same date, September 19, and the pallium presented to him by Cardinal Giacomo Savelli of S. Maria in Cosmedin.  The temporal administration of Archbishop William's domains was granted by King Edward I on October 28, 1279.
         Canon Hugh was granted the Prebendary of Bugthorpe in the Church of York, by November 11, 1279  [J. Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae III, p. 178:  "Henry, a Roman Cardinal, held it at his death in 1287."  There was no Cardinal Henry.  The letter H(ugh) is wrongly expanded by an English copyist]. On December 17, 1279, Master Hugh of Evesham, Canon of York, was one of the examiners of candidates for ordination in the Diocese of York, on appointment of Archbishop Wickwane [The Register of William Wickwane, p. 22].  He was called to Rome, due to his medical skills, it is said, by Nicholas III.   On September 12, 1280, Archbishop Wickwane named Master Hugh of Evesham, Canon of York, and Stephen Patringtone   his proctors at the Papal Curia, and so notified Cardinals Giacomo Savelli and Matteo Rosso Orsini [The Register of William Wickwane, p. 183]. On April 12, 1281, Hugh of Evesham was named a cardinal.  Archbishop Wickwane sent him a joyous letter of congratulations.
          On April 13, 1282, Cardinal Hugh's chaplain was named Bishop of Caithness by provision of Martin IV [Bliss, Calendar of Papal Registers I, p. 464].  On September 18, 1285, Hugh notified Bishop Godrey Gifford that the Pope, at his request, had conferred the church of Mukelton on the clerk Ralph de Oxonia [Register of Bishop Godfrey Gifford II, pp. 272-273].  Cardinal Hugh had a relative (consanguineus), Richard of Duiard, for whom he procured a canonry at the Cathedral of Lichfield [Registres d' Honorius IV, no. 342, p. 253 (February 23, 1286)].  In the summer of 1286, the agent of Worcester at the Papal Curia lists among his expenses fees paid to Cardinal Hugh, to Bernard de Napoli, Bernard the Pope's secretary, and Galgano the Pope's scribe, to expedite business [Register of Bishop Godfrey Gifford II, pp. 292];  in Hugh's case, it was so that Hugh would speak to the Pope on his behalf.     Robert Brentano deduces a great number of Cardinal Hugh's personal relationships and attitudes from the contents of his Last Will and Testament, of November 15, 1286, the "shadow biography of his bequests"  [Brentano, 53-56, derived from Bishop Giffard's Register]; a considerable number of Brentano's conjectures as to motive, however, are dubious or unsupported by other evidence.  He makes no conjecture, however, as to Hugh's gift of money to every house of lepers in Yorkshire.  Cardinal Hugh died in 1287, on the Sunday after the Feast of St. James, that is, on July 27 [Register of Bishop Godfrey Gifford II, p. 333; Annales Wigorniae, in Annales Monastici IV ed. Luard, pp. 493-494]. It is alleged in the Annales Wigorniae [Annales Monastici IV ed. Luard, pp. 493-494] that he was poisoned.
  7. Gervais de Clinchamp (Glincamp) [diocese of Mans], son of Eudes, chevalier and seigneur de Groestel. Cardinal Priest of S. Martino in Monte, formerly canon of Paris [Duchesne, Cardinaux françois, p. 303; A. Molinier & A. Lognon, Obituaires de la province de Sens Tome I (Diocese de Sens) (Paris 1902) 178].  His brother was Abbot of S. Remigius at Rheims [Ciaconius-Olduin II, 242].   He died in September 1287 [Pietro Cantinelli, Chronicon sub anno 1287, p. 57 ed. Torraca (1902)]; the Church of Notre Dame de Paris notes his death on September 16.
  8. Comes Giusianus, Conte de Casate [Mediolanensis], Cardinal Priest of SS. Marcellinus and Petrus, formerly Archdeacon of Milan, Auditor of the Rota (under Nicolaus III)  = Auditor Causarum [E. Cerchiari, p. 17] He died on April 8, 1287 [Rohault, Le Latran, p. 175; Pietro Cantinelli, Chronicon sub anno 1287, p. 57 ed. Torraca (1902)].  He subscribes as "Comes".
  9. Gaufridus (Geoffroy) de Barro or Barbeau, of Burgundy, Cardinal Priest of S. Susanna (1281-1287), formerly Dean of the Church of S. Quentin en Vermandois, Dean of the Cathedral of Nôtre Dame de Paris  (1273-1281) [Guérard, Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Paris   IV (1850), 215; A. Molinier & A. Lognon, Obituaires de la province de Sens Tome I (Diocese de Sens) (Paris 1902), 166], and Chaplain of the Bishop of Paris.  In 1270, he was heir of Robert de Sorbon, Canon of Paris   In November, 1274, when he was Dean, he in turn gave all the property he inherited from Robert de Sorbon to the Congregatio pauperum Magistrorum Parisius studentium in Theologica Facultate [Luca d' Achery, Veterum aliquot scriptorum  Spicilegium IX (Paris 1668), 247-248 and 249].  Ciaconius-Olduin (II, 243) states that he is commemorated in the Necrologium Ecclesiae Parisiensis on August 21;  however, in the Obituarium of the Church of Paris on August 21, the commemoration is that of Geoffrey, Count of Brittany, son of King Henry II of England   [Guérard, Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Paris   IV (1850), 133].     He died in 1287 [Pietro Cantinelli, Chronicon sub anno 1287, p. 57 ed. Torraca (1902), "decanus parixiensis"].

  10. Giacomo Savelli [Romanus], son of Luca Sabelli  and Johanna Aldobrandini; brother of the late John, former Podesta of Orevieto. Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin (since 1261) (died April 3, 1287). [This was his eighth papal election] (Elected Pope Honorius IV)
  11. Godefridus (Gottifridus, Geoffroy, Goffredo d' Alatri in Lazio), Cardinal Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro (1261-1287).  Canon of the Cathedral of Alatri (by 1229).  In 1251 he is mentioned as a chaplain of Cardinal Stefano de Normandis of the titulus of S. Maria in Trastevere, and granted the privilege of being Decanus Olensis and pastor of the church of S. Stefano in Alatri at the same time [Registres d' Innocent IV, Tome III, no. 5462, p. 5].  Chaplain of Alexander IV and judge in a case between the Bishop of Ascoli and a certain Rinaldo [G. Mazzatinti, Gli archivi della storia d' Italia III (Rocca S. Casciano 1900-1901), p. 96 (Ascoli, Archivio capitolare, 1257)].  He countersigned two letters of Nicholas III [Registres de Nicolas III no. 458 and 459 and 475 (St Peter's, March 18, 1279; May 7, 1279)].  He signed a bull for Nicholas III, regulating the statutes of the clergy of St. Peter's Basilica [Registres de Nicolas III no. 517 (February 3, 1279)].  In February, 1281, before a coronation could be arranged, he and Cardinal Latino Malabranca Orsini were sent to Rome 'velut pacis angelis'.  The mission was a failure [Martène-Durand, Veterum scriptorum II, 1284-1285;  Potthast 21738]   † 1287 (cf. Sternfeld, 289 n.3).  [Cardella I. 2, p. 302-303, records no achievements except that he was a cardinal for twenty-six years, and crowned Pope Honorius IV].  [He possessed fifty-two books at his death in 1287, of which twenty-three were juridical in nature:  M. Prou, "Inventaire des meubles du Cardinal Geoffroy d' Alatri (1287)," Melanges d' archeologie et d' histoire 5 (1885), 382 ff.; a list of the books in: Neuer Anzeiger für Bibliographie und Bibliothekwissenschaft 47 (1886), pp. 105-107, an unremarkable and purely professional collection, suitable for a prelate].
  12. Matteo Rosso Orsini [Romanus], Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Portico (died September 4, 1305).
  13. Giordano Orsini [Romanus], Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachio. (died 1287). Brother of Pope Nicholas III
  14. Giacomo Colonna [Romanus], son of Giordano Colonna, Signore di Colonna, Monteporzio, Zagarolo, Gallicano e Palestrina; and Francesca, daughter of Paolo Conti.  Brother of Giovanni Colonna, Senatore di Roma, 1279-1280.  Uncle of Cardinal Pietro Colonna and Stefano Colonna.    Archdeacon of Pisa.  Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata (March 12, 1278; deposed May 10, 1297; restored February 2, 1306).  (died August 14, 1318 in Avignon.)
  15. Benedetto Caetani, seniore, a Campanian, son of Luitfrid of Anagni, Cardinal Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere Tulliano, from April 12, 1281.    Canon of Todi.  Canon of the Vatican Basilica [Archivio della societa romana di storia patria 6 (1883), 11].   Legate of Martin IV to Charles I of Sicily (1282) to dissuade him from war against King Pedro of Aragon.  Legate in south Italy.  Given the titulus of SS. IV Coronatorum [Salvador Miranda gives the date of April 1, 1285, but that was during the Sede Vacante, the day before the election of Urban IV;  the correct date is April 11, 1283, and the pope was Honorius IV [Registres d' Honorius IV, no. 826, p. 586].     (died as Pope Boniface VIII on October 11, 1303).
          In a speech given in Consistory by Caetani as pope, in 1302, he claimed to have always been a French partisan: Prima est quod nunquam volumus respondere iuxta stultitiam suam, quia in quantum in nobis est, volumus esse in pace, et in amore cum Rege [Philippo], quia semper dileximus regnum et illos de regno, et sciunt multi qui hic sunt, quod ego semper quandiu fui in Cardinalatu fui Gallicus, ita quod frequenter fuit mihi impropertatum a fratribus meis Romanis, a quodam qui est mortuus, et etiam ab alio qui est iuxta me, quod eram pro Gallicis et contra Romanos, dicebant enim quia semper alii Cardinales Campani fuerant cum Romanis.... [Pierre Dupuy, Histoire du différend d'entre le Pape Boniface VIII. et Philippes le Bel, Roy de France (Paris 1655), p. 78;  H. Finke, Aus den Tagen Bonifaz VIII, p. 12]

Cardinals not attending: The election was accomplished so quickly that Cardinals who were not at Perugia might not have received notification of the death of Martin IV until well after the election of Honorius IV.

  1. Gerardo Bianchi, Suburbicarian Bishop of Sabina.  (died March 1, 1302). He was legate in Sicily at the time of the death of King Charles I (January 7, 1285), and was appointed administrator [Regni Ballius], along with Count Robert of Artois (Arras). Fra Salimbene of Parma speaks of him sub anno 1282 ( p. 281) as Legate in Sicily at the time of the Sicilian Vespers (1282). [Cf. letter of Martin IV to the two Bajuli, dated February 16, 1285, in Baronius-Theiner 22, sub anno 1285 no. 6-8, p. 550]
  2. Bernardus de Languissello [of Nîmes; his uncle had been Provost of Nîmes], Cardinal Bishop of Porto [See the letter of Pope Martin, announcing Bernard's appointment as Cardinal, in Martène-Durand, Veterum scriptorum II, 1283-1284; Potthast 21829].  He administered the titulus of S. Prassede from November 5, 1286 to  1288 [Prou,  Registres de Honorius IV, no. 812].  He had been Archdeacon of Lanta in the Diocese of Toulouse and papal chaplain (by 1266) [Potthast 19692]. On November 13, 1267, he was a nuncio from Pope Clement IV to Charles I of Sicily [Potthast 20163 and 20168].  As Archbishop-elect of Arles (February 1274) he carried out part of the restoration of the Comtat Venaissin to the Pope, at Malaucène.  Archbishop of Arles (1273-1281).  On June 17, 1283, Cardinal Bernard was named Legate in Lombardy, the Veneto, the Romandiola and Tuscia [Potthst 22038-22040].   [In general, U. Chevalier, Gallia christiana novissima. Arles (Valence 1901), 504-529].  died September 19, 1291.   On May 29, 1289, he participated in the Coronation of Charles II, king of Sardinia [Bibliotheque de l' Ecole des chartes 54, p. 72].   He died September 19, 1291 [Ughelli-Colet, Italia sacra I, 138-139].   He was absent from the Conclave of 1285, serving as Legate in northern Italy. He was sent a letter by Pope Martin on February 21, 1285, concerning the revolt of Urbino [Potthast 22215]
  3. Johannes Chauleti (Cholet) [from the village of Nointre in the diocese of Beauvais], Doctor utriusque iure [du Boulay, Historia Universitatis Parisiensis III, p. 696].  A familiaris of Cardinal Simon de Brion [Martin IV]. Friend of Philip the Bold and Philip the Fair.  Cardinal Priest of S. Cecilia (1281-1292).  Legate in France (1282) to preach the crusade against the King of Aragon. Legate (1283), to dissuade King Edward I from giving assistance to the King of Aragon [Rymer Foedera II, pp. 242-244 (Orvieto, April 5, 1283)]. Legate in the southern half of France, appointed on May 5, 1284, to preach a crusade against the King of Aragon [Baronius-Theiner 22, sub anno 1284 no. 4-9, p. 534-536;  Potthast 22130].  In accordance with a bull of Honorius IV, he settled the differences between the scholars of the University and the Chancellor of Paris [Denifle, Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis  I, no. 528, pp. 639-642 (February 1, 1286); Prou, Registres d' Honorius IV, no. 267].  He accompanied the army of King Philip into Aragon [Registres d' Honorius IV, p. 184; no. 392-395 (April 30, 1286) pp. 282-285]   (died 1292).

Tomb of Card. Ancherus Panteleone, 1286



The circumstances of this Conclave are remarkable, if not quite unique. The pope had only been dead four days when the Conclave opened on April 1 in Perugia. The novendiales were still in progress. (Compare the uncanonical Election of Gregory VII during the funeral of his predecessor, or the Election on the death of Innocent III, which produced a new pope in 48 hours, or the scandal of 1130, which produced two popes within twelve hours)   Fra Salimbene of Parma reports (Cronaca, p. 332 Bertani; Pawlicki, p. 11 n.2):

...VII. die exeunte martio, fuit Pascha, scilicet in Annuntiatione beatae Virginis, quod ante non fuerat LXXII. annis elapsis; quod infaustum aliqui esse credebant; quod etiam post X. annos adhuc expectatur fore futurum, scilicet MCCXCV. Item eodem millesimo, in festo Resurrectionis, dominus Papa Martinus IIII. sollemniter celebravit; et sequenti quarta feria infra octavam Paschae, qua die cantatus fuit introitus ad missam Venite benedicti, ultimum diem clausit. ... et immediate post octavam Paschae scilicet secunda die intrante Aprile habuit successorem, dominum Jacobum de Sabellis de civitate romana, qui erat de numero et collegio cardinalium, et primus inter alios cardinales; qui erat senex et antiquus et plenus dierum, infirmus et podagricus et curagricam habens; et dictus est Honorius quartus. Hic, postquam factus fuit Papa, statim ivit Roman, et revocavit cardinales qui per diversas provincias in legationibus erant; et tractabat cum eis de universali pace mundi. Executor relictus fuerat testamenti Papae Martini.

The new pope himself reported in his electoral manifesto, Quis loquetur [Bullarium Romanum Turin edition 4, pp. 67-70 (May 25, 1285)], that the Conclave began on April 1, with the Mass of the Holy Spirit.  According to his statement, there was no attempt at forcible enclosure, as had happened several times at Viterbo (1270, 1281).  The scrutiny began on the next day, and Giacomo Savelli, Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin, was elected on the first ballot:

prima die dictyi mensis cum fratribus nostris, de quorum numero tunc eramus, libere, nulla inclusionis coactione praeambula, quam aliquando in Ecclesiae ipsius vacationibus damnabilis praesumpsit abusus, convenimus ad tractandum de substituendi electione pastoris.  Et postquam missarum solemnia ex more in honore Sancti Spiritus celebrata, tractu aliquo habito, tandem in crastinum scrutinii via electa concorditer, factoque, ac publicato scrutinio, quod nec sequens habuit, sicut nec oportuit, nec praecedens votorum fratrum eorundem directorum in nos, eo tempore Sanctae Mariae in Cosmedin diaconum cardinalem, tanta est inventa concordia, et de unanimi eorum omnium voluntate adeo concors de nobis in Summum Pontificem electio subsecuta....

The Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne II, 2, p. 465, in both the recension of Bernard Gui and of the Continuator of Martin) states that the election took place on April 2, 1285.  Honorius IV reigned for two years and one day.  The Chronicon of Pietro Cantinelli (p. 54) also reports the election on April 2, 1285 of Jacobus de Sabello de Roma, qui erat cardinalis.  The continuator of Martinus Oppaviensis' Chronicon (MGH SS XXII, 482) says, somewhat inaccurately, that the election took place on the first day (concordia fratrum prima die qua convenerunt); it was actually the second day of the Conclave, on the first scrutiny.

Sometime after April 25, 1285, the Papal Court left Perugia for Rome. On May 18, a letter to the Bishop of S. Andrew's in Scotland was dated at St. Peter's in Rome.



According to Panvinio (p.183), Pope Honorius IV (Giacomo Savelli) was ordained priest, consecrated bishop and crowned pope in Rome at the Vatican Basilica on April 15, 1285 (xvii. Kal. Maii).  He was crowned by Cardinal Goffredo d' Alatri, the Cardinal Protodeacon.  It was contrary to canon law, however, for more than one of the major orders to be given on the same day. The date, too, is quite impossible. Documents show that the new pope was still issuing documents from Perugia on April 25, and had not yet departed for Rome.  As Pawlicki points out (p. 13), according to the entries of the dates at the end of papal documents, Pope Honorius' first regnal year ran as far as May 19, 1296, and the second began on May 20, 1296.  That would place his coronation on May 20, 1295.   His electoral manifesto is dated at St. Peter's  octavo kalendas iunii  (May 25, 1285).  The Annals of Osney Abbey state that Honorius IV was crowned on Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost (Annales Monastici IV, 304):

MCCLXXXV. In septimana Paschae obiit Nicholas Papa secundus [sic! Martinus Papa quartus!]. electus est loco ipsius Jacobus de Sabella, vir sapientissimus sed aetate decrepitus. consecratus in festo Sanctae Trinitatis proximo sequenti, et dictus est Honorius IV.

Giuseppe de Novaes (p. 10), followed of course by Gaetano Moroni (Vol. 49, p. 28), says that he was ordained on May 14, consecrated on May 15, and crowned on May 20. The continuator of Martinus Oppaviensis' Chronicon (MGH SS XXII, 482) has a slightly different version of the events—though the passage is corrupt—that he was ordained on May 19 and (consecrated and) crowned on May 20:

Die [19] mensis Maii . . . in sacerdotem est per domnum Latinum Ostiensem episcopum cardinalem promotus apud S. Petrum et ibidem die crastina dominica coronatus per eum, in altari S. Petri primitus divino misse officio celebrato.


Pope Honorius' mother was Vana (or Johanna) Aldobrandesca (Moroni, 49, 28). His father Lucas Savelli had been Senator of Rome, dying in 1266 during his term of office, as his tombstone in Santa Maria in Aracoeli attests (Forcella, Inscrizioni delle chiese I, p, 117 no. 410; cf. Pawlicki 4 n. 2):

Hic jacet d(omi)n(u)s Lucas de Sabello, pat(er) d(omi)ni P(a)p(a)e Honorii d(omi)ni Joh(ann)is et d(omi)ni Pandulfi, qui obiit dum esset Senator urbis A(nno) D(o)m(in)i MCCLXVI.

As Cardinal Savelli, Honorius had been appointed by Pope Urban IV as papal Prefect in Tuscany and as Captain of the Papal Army against Manfred [Martène, Thesaurus Novus Anecdotum II (Paris 1717), p. 84]:

Sumus etiam in tractatu cum fratribus nostris, praeficiendi dilectum filium J. S. Mariae in Cosmedin diaconum cardinalem patrimonio B. Petri in Tuscia et exercitibus ecclesiae in capitaneum et rectorem.

Honorius' brother Pandolf, a man reputed for justice and severity, was Senator of Rome at the time of his election. He had taken major steps to get local brigandage under control and was exceedingly popular with the people of Rome. Honorius had been one of the six cardinals who chose the pope by compromise in 1271. The new pope took up residence on the Aventine near Santa Sabina, where he built a new palace in the family compound, from which his bulls are dated. The sources agree that he suffered from podaegra or gutta (gout), as did his brother, but in both cases the condition seems so severe that Pandolf could not get around except on crutches, and Honorius was unable to walk or even move his fingers together, except for his thumb. He had to sit while celebrating Mass, and had a special chair constructed so that, when it was time to elevate the Host, he could be turned around to the people without moving his body. The symptoms seem to be more those of severe arthritis. Nonetheless, both he and his brother were clear in mind and firm in purpose. Honorius died on April 3, 1287, Holy Thursday, apud Sanctam Sabinam, after two years and one day of rule.


Honorius IV named only one cardinal, on December 22, 1285:  Giovanni Boccamati (Boccamazza),  who became Suburbicarian Bishop of Tusculum.  He was a Roman and an adfinis of the pope. He had been made Archbishop of Monreale by Pope Nicholas III in 1278. He died in 1309. (Panvinio, 184; Eubel I, pp. 11, 38,and 348; Cardella II, 27-28; The continuator of Martinus Oppaviensis' Chronicon (MGH SS XXII), 482).




Chronicon Placentinum et Chronicon de rebus in Italia gestis (edited by J.L.A. Huillard-Bréholles (Paris: Plon 1856). Giovanni Villani, Cronica VII. 54-58.

Bartolomeo Platina, Storia delle vite de' pontefice edizione novissima Tomo Terzo (Venezia: Ferrarin 1763) 148-153. Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo primo Parte secondo (Roma: Pagliarini 1792).  Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Annali d' Italia Volume 19 (Firenze 1827), 75-78. Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi per la storia de' Sommi Pontefici terza edizione Volume IV (Roma 1821) 3-13.   G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Volume 49 (Venezia 1848) 28-29. Paul Durrieu, Étude sur les registres angevines du Roi Charles Ier Tome second (Paris 1888), 179-180.  Bernhard Pawlicki, Papst Honorius IV. Eine Monographie (Münster 1896). Augustin Demski, Papst Nikolaus III, Eine Monographie (Münster 1903). F. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V.2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906) 500-.

Henry Richards Luard (editor), Annales Monastici. Vol. IV. Annales Monasterii de Oseneia (A. D. 1016–1347)... (London Longmans, 1869).

Martinus Oppaviensis (edited by L. Weiland): Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Scriptorum Tomus XXII (Hannover 1872), 377-482.

Actenstücke: A. Fanta, F. Kaltenbrunner, E.v. Ottenthal (editors), Actenstücke zur Geschichte des Deutschen Reiches unter den Königen Rudolf I. und Albrecht I. (Wien 1889).

G. Marchetti Longhi, "Il cardinale Gottifredo di Alatri, la sua famiglia, il suo stemma ed il suo palazzo," Archivio della Societa romana di storia patria 85 (1952) 17-49.

On Cardinal Hugh of Evesham: Robert Brentano, Two Churches: England and Italy in the Thirteenth Century (Princeton 1968). W. Brown (ed.),  The Register of William Wickwane, Lord Archbishop of York (1279-1285) (Surtees Society 1907).  J. W. Willis Bund (editor), Episcopal Registers, Diocese of Worcester. Register of Bishop Godfrey Giffard, September 23rd, 1268 to August 15th, 1301  Volume II (Oxford 1902).

On Cardinal Gerardo Bianchi:  R. Fantini, "Il cardinale Gerardo Bianchi," Archivio storico per le provinzie parmensi, n. s., 27 (1927),pp. 231ff. P. Herde, "Die Legation des Kardinalbischofs Gerhard von Sabina während des Krieges der Sizilischen Vesper und die Synode von Melfi (28 März 1284)," Rivista di storia della Chiesa in Italia,   21(1967), pp. 1-53.


December 20, 2015 4:53 PM

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