Girolamo Ghinucci

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His Eminence

Girolamo Ghinucci
Cardinal Bishop Of Worcester
ChurchRoman Catholic
Appointed26 September 1522
In office1522–1535
PredecessorSilvestro de' Gigli
SuccessorHugh Latimer
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of San Clemente
Administrator of Tropea
Created cardinal21 May 1535
by Paul III
RankCardinal Priest
Personal details
Died3 July 1541
Previous post(s)Bishop of Ascoli Piceno (1512-1518)
Bishop of Malta (1523-1530)
Administrator of Cavaillon (1537-1540)
Coat of armsGirolamo Ghinucci's coat of arms

Girolamo Ghinucci (additionally referred to historically as: Jerome de Ghinucci, Geronimo de Ghinucci, Hieronymus Ghinucci, and Girolamo Ginucci; 1480 in Siena – 3 July 1541) was an Italian papal administrator, diplomat and cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.


Ghinucci was from a Sienese banking family and became a canon of the cathedral chapter there. He then became secretary to Pope Julius II. He was bishop of Ascoli Piceno from 1512 to 1518. He was an active participant in the Fifth Lateran Council.[1]

Pope Leo X named Ghinucci papal nuncio to England, where Henry VIII retained him for a period as advisor. Ghinucci advised on Henry's moves to divorce Catherine of Aragon.[2] Ghinucci's nephew, Augustine de Augustinis, served as personal physician to Cardinal Wolsey. Augustinis also performed some diplomatic and espionage services for the Cardinal. He later became physician-in-ordinary to Henry VIII.[3]

In 1522, he succeeded Giulio de' Medici, the Cardinal protector of England as Bishop of Worcester (the last of the Italian absentees to hold the see).[4] In September 1525, Bishop Ghinucci was appointed one of Henry's ambassadors in residence in Rome. In November 1526, he was sent on an embassy from Henry to the Holy Roman Emperor in Spain. In October 1529, he was re-accredited to Rome.[5]

He held the bishopric until 1535 when he was deprived of the position by King Henry VIII; also deprived was the Bishop of Salisbury, Lorenzo Campeggio. In the same year he was made a Cardinal by Pope Paul III, and served on commissions to reform the Church.

He also served as Bishop Administrator of the Diocese of Malta from 1523 to 1538. He was Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals from January 7, 1538, to January 10, 1539.[1]

He was involved, with Silvester Prierias, in the papal reaction to Martin Luther after 1518.[6]

He maintained English contacts through Richard Croke.[7]

Ghinucci died in Rome July 3, 1541, Rome and was buried in the basilica of San Clemente al Laterano,[1] where he was Cardinal protector from 25 January 1537 until his death. A prominent Latin inscription commemorating him is to be seen in the north aisle of the basilica (to the right of the entrance to the sacristy and excavations).


  1. ^ a b c Miranda, Salvador. "GHINUCCI, Girolamo (1480-1541)". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Florida International University. OCLC 53276621.
  2. ^ Pollard, A. F. (1919). Henry VIII. London: Longmans, Green and Co. p. 202.
  3. ^ Hammond, E.A. (July 1975). "Doctor Augustine, Physician to Cadinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII". Medical History. 5 (3): 215–249. doi:10.1017/S0025727300020251. PMC 1081639. PMID 1095863.
  4. ^ Down, Kevin (1995). "The Administration of the Diocese of Worcester under the Italian Bishops, 1427-1535". Midland History. 20 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1179/mdh.1995.20.1.1.
  5. ^ Thomas Betteridge; Suzannah Lipscomb, eds. (2013). Henry VIII and the Court: Art, Politics and Performance. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 187. ISBN 9781409411857.
  6. ^ Greengrass, Mark. "Theologians' Reformation Case-study, Section 01a.44 Chronology: The Broadening Lutheran Conflict, 1518-9". University of Sheffield. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2007.
  7. ^ Ghinucci's correspondence with Croke is quoted in Delaforce, Patrick; Baldry, Ken. "Chapter 22 - King Henry VIII's troubleshooter". The Delaforce Family History (2nd ed.).

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
Hugh Latimer
As CofE bishop
(unrecognized by Vatican)
Succeeded by
As RC bishop
(unrecognized by Crown)
Preceded by
(recognized by both Crown and Vatican)
Bishop of Worcester
(unrecognized by Crown)

Succeeded by