Peter I (archbishop of Lyon)

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Peter (died 25 December 1139) was a Benedictine monk and a "prelate of more than average distinction", who held the bishopric of Viviers (1125–31, as Peter I) and subsequently the archbishopric of Lyon (1131–39, as Peter I). Throughout his archiepiscopate he held the office of Papal legate.[1]

Prior to his election to Viviers, Peter was a monk of Cluny. There he first met and befriended Peter the Venerable, later abbot. He once gave Peter a golden ring as a sign of his affection.[1]

In 1138 the election of the bishop of Langres was disputed between two factions, and in June or July Peter gave his approval to the election of a Cluniac bishop—probably William of Sabran[2]—whom he duly consecrated. Although Bernard of Clairvaux attacked Peter in a letter to Pope Innocent II on this occasion, it does not seem to have harmed Peter's reputation.[3]

In 1139 Pope Innocent sent him as legate to the Kingdom of Jerusalem to settle a dispute between Patriarch Ralph of Domfront and the canons of the Antioch.[4] Peter sailed to Acre and went from there to Jerusalem. He returned to Acre and died there before moving on to Antioch. William of Tyre, who calls him "a man of a venerable life, simple and God-fearing, but old and now verging on senility" in his chronicle, raises the spectre of poisoning.[5] His obituary written at the priory of Leigneux dates his death incorrectly to 31 May.[6]


  1. ^ a b Constable 1956, p. 130.
  2. ^ Constable 1956, pp. 134–35.
  3. ^ Constable 1956, p. 139.
  4. ^ Hamilton 1984, pp. 14–15.
  5. ^ Constable 1956, p. 130: vir uitae uenerabilis, simplex, ac timens Deum, longaeuus et iam in senium uergens.
  6. ^ Constable 1956, p. 130 n. 63.


  • Constable, Giles (1957). "The Disputed Election at Langres in 1138". Traditio. 13: 119–52. 
  • Hamilton, Bernard (1984). "Ralph of Domfront, Patriarch of Antioch (1135–40)". Nottingham Medieval Studies. 28: 1–21.