Uberto Gambara

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Uberto Gambara
Uberto Gambara
Born (1489-01-23)January 23, 1489
Died February 14, 1549(1549-02-14) (aged 60)

Uberto Gambara (1489–1549) was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.


Uberto Gambara was born in Brescia on January 23, 1489, the son of Gianfrancesco Gambara and Alda Pio di Carpi.[1] Veronica Gambara was his sister.

When he was 10 years old, he was destined for a career in the church.[1] He was named provost of Verolanuova and chaplain of San Giacomo in 1502.[1] He briefly left the ecclesiastical state, fighting alongside his brother Brunoro in the French army of Gaston of Foix, Duke of Nemours then invading Brescia.[1]

He then reentered the ecclesiastical estate, traveling to Rome during the pontificate of Pope Leo X.[1] The pope named him nuncio to the Kingdom of Portugal, a post he would continue to occupy during the papacies of Pope Adrian VI and Pope Clement VII.[1] The latter pope then named him nuncio to the court of Francis I of France.[1] In 1527, he became nuncio to the Kingdom of England.[1] There, he coordinated with the papal legate to England, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York.[1] On December 15, 1527, he carried Cardinal Wolsey's letter to Pope Clement VII in which Wolsey secretly expressed his wish to be granted special powers allowing him to annul the marriage of Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon, thus allowing the king to marry Anne Boleyn.[1]

Pope Clement VII was imprisoned by imperial troops following the Sack of Rome (1527).[1] During this period, Gambara traveled to Paris to attempt to raise military assistance to free the pontiff.[1]

On May 8, 1528, he was elected bishop of Tortona, coinciding with the pope naming him governor of Bologna, holding this post until 1533.[1] He was present at the imperial coronation of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in Bologna on February 24, 1530.[1] At the end of his governship, he was finally consecrated as a bishop in February 1533 in Bologna by Gian Matteo Giberti, Bishop of Verona.[1]

Coat of arms of Cardinal Uberto Gambara

In 1539, Pope Paul III made him vicar of Rome.[1] He then made him a cardinal priest in the consistory of December 19, 1539.[1] He received the red hat and the titular church of San Silvestro in Capite on January 28, 1540.[1] He opted for the titular church of San Martino ai Monti on March 23, 1541.[1] On January 9, 1542, he was named administrator of the see of Policastro, resigning that administration on June 7, 1543.[1]

He was the papal legate in Parma and Piacenza from January 27, 1542 until March 5, 1544.[1] He opted for the titular church of Sant'Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine on February 15, 1542 and then for San Crisogono on October 17, 1544.[1]

He was the Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, January 9, 1545 to January 8, 1546.[1] He was then sent to France, returning to Rome on December 16, 1547.[1] On March 22, 1548, he resigned the government of the see of Tortona in favor of his nephew, Cesare Gambara.[1] He then traveled to Genoa, returning to Rome on January 5, 1549.[1]

He died in Rome on February 14, 1549.[1] His remains were returned to Brescia and he was buried in Santa Maria delle Grazie.[1]