Papal election, October 1187

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The papal election of October 21, 1187 was a papal election convoked after the death of Pope Urban III. It resulted in the election of Cardinal Alberto Sartori di Morra, who took the name of Gregory VIII.

List of participants[edit]

At the death of Pope Urban III there were probably 23 cardinals.[1] Basing on the countersigning of the papal bulls in October 1187[2] it is possible to establish that probably 13 of them participated in the election of successor of Urban III:

Elector Place of birth Cardinalatial title Elevated Elevator Notes
Henri de Marsiac, O.Cist. Château de Marcy, France Bishop of Albano March 1179 Aleksander III Declined the election to the papacy
Paolo Scolari Rome Bishop of Palestrina September 21, 1179 Alexander III Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian Basilica; future Pope Clement III (1187-1191)
Thibaud, O.S.B.Cluny France Bishop of Ostia e Velletri 1184 Lucius III
Alberto di Morra, Can.Reg.Praem. Benevento Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina and Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church December 21, 1156 Adrian IV Protopriest; elected Pope Gregory VIII
Pietro de Bono, C.R.S.M.R. Rome Priest of S. Susanna March 18, 1166 Alexander III
Laborante de Panormo Pontormo Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere September 21, 1173 Alexander III
Melior le Maitre, O.S.B.Vall. Pisa Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo March 16, 1185 Lucius III Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
Adelardo Cattaneo Verona Priest of S. Marcello March 16, 1185 Lucius III Future bishop of Verona (1188-1214)
Giacinto Bobone Orsini Rome Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin December 22, 1144 Lucius II Protodeacon; future Pope Celestine III (1191-1198)
Graziano da Pisa Pisa Deacon of SS. Cosma e Damiano March 4, 1178 Alexander III
Ottaviano di Paoli Rome Deacon of SS. Sergio e Bacco December 18, 1182 Lucius III Future bishop of Ostia e Velletri (1189-1206)
Pietro Diana Piacenza Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere March 16, 1185 Lucius III
Radulf Nigellus probably France Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro March 16, 1185 Lucius III

Six electors were created by Pope Lucius III, five by Pope Alexander III, one by Pope Lucius II and one by Pope Adrian IV.

Absentee cardinals[edit]

Probably ten cardinals were absent:

Elector Place of birth Cardinalatial title Elevated Elevator Notes
Konrad von Wittelsbach Bavaria Bishop of Sabina and Archbishop of Mainz December 18, 1165 Alexander III Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals (external cardinal)
Giovanni Conti da Anagni Anagni Priest of S. Marco 1158/1159 Adrian IV Protopriest; future bishop of Palestrina (1190-1196)
Guillaume aux Blanches Mains France Priest of S. Sabina and Archbishop of Reims March 1179 Alexander III Minister of State of the Kingdom of France; external cardinal
Ruggiero di San Severino San Severino Priest of S. Eusebio and Archbishop of Benevento Ca. 1178-1180 Alexander III External cardinal
Albino, C.R.S.F. Gaeta (?) Priest of S. Croce in Gerusalemme December 18, 1182 Lucius III Future bishop of Albano (1189-1197)
Pandolfo Lucca Priest of SS. XII Apostoli December 18, 1182 Lucius III
Soffredo Pistoia Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata December 18, 1182 Lucius III Papal legate in France
Bobo Rome Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria December 18, 1182 Lucius III Papal legate in France; future bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina (1189-1190)
Gerardo Lucca Deacon of S. Adriano December 18, 1182 Lucius III Papal Vicar; Cardinal-nephew (?) of Lucius III
Rolando Pisa Deacon of S. Maria in Portico March 16, 1185 Lucius III Former bishop-elect of Dol (1177-1185)

Six absentees were created by Lucius III, three by Alexander III, and one by Adrian IV.

Death of Urban III and the election of Pope Gregory VIII[edit]

Pope Urban III died at Ferrara on October 20, 1187. On the following day thirteen cardinals present on his deathbed started proceedings to elect his successor. There were three candidates to the papal throne: Henri de Marsiac, Paolo Scolari and Alberto di Morra. However, Henri de Marsiac refused the papal tiara, while Paolo Scolari was excluded because he was seriously ill at that time, so there remained only the old papal chancellor Alberto di Morra. On October 21, 1187 he was unanimously elected pope and took the name Gregory VIII.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cf. I.S. Robinson, p. 44 and 86-87; Kartusch, p. 30; Jaffé Philipp, Regesta..., p. 492-493, 528
  2. ^ Jaffé Philipp, Regesta..., p. 492-493, 528
  3. ^ I.S.Robinson, p. 87

Sources[edit]

  • Jaffé, Philipp (1888). Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita Ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. vol. II. Leipzig. 
  • Kartusch, Elfriede (1948). Das Kardinalskollegium in der Zeit von 1181–1227. Wien. 
  • Robinson, Ian Stuart (1990). The Papacy, 1073–1198: Continuity and Innovation. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521264987.