Papal election, 1285

The Papal election 1285, convened in Viterbo after the death of Pope Martin IV, elected Cardinal Giacomo Savelli, who took the name of Honorius IV. Because of the suspension of the Constitution Ubi periculum by Adrian V in 1276, this election was technically, perhaps, not a papal conclave. In fact, for the first time since the tedious Election of 1269-1271, the meetings were dominated neither by the Hohenstaufen nor Charles I of Naples (who had died on January 7, 1285). It may even be that the cardinals proceeded so swiftly to an election with the intention of forestalling any intervention from Naples.


Pope Martin IV, who was living at Perugia, never having visited the city of Rome, was stricken ill with a slow fever on Easter Sunday, March 25, and died on March 28, 1285. At that time, there were 18 living cardinals in the Sacred College, though three of them were away as Legates and were not notified in time. Fifteen of them participated in the election of his successor:

Elector Nationality Cardinalatial title Elevated Elevator Notes
Ordonho Alvares Portuguese Bishop of Frascati 1278, March 12 Nicholas III Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals
Bentivenga da Bentivengi, O.F.M. Italian Bishop of Albano 1278, March 12 Nicholas III Grand penitentiary
Latino Malabranca Orsini, O.P. Italian Bishop of Ostia e Velletri 1278, March 12 Nicholas III Inquisitor General of the Papal Inquisition
Girolamo Masci, O.F.M. Italian Bishop of Palestrina 1278, March 12 Nicholas III
Anchero Pantaleone French Priest of S. Prassede 1262, May 22 Urban IV Protopriest of the Sacred College of Cardinals
Hugh of Evesham English Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina 1281, April 12 Martin IV
Gervais Jeancolet de Clinchamp French Priest of SS. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti 1281, April 12 Martin IV
Cosmo Glusano de Casate Italian Priest of SS. Marcellino e Pietro 1281, April 12 Martin IV
Geoffroy de Bar French Priest of S. Susanna 1281, April 12 Martin IV
Giacomo Savelli Italian Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin 1261, December 17 Urban IV Protodeacon of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Elected as Pope Honorius IV
Goffredo da Alatri Italian Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro 1261, December 17 Urban IV
Matteo Rosso Orsini Italian Deacon of S. Maria in Portico Octaviae 1262, May 22 Urban IV Archpriest of the patriarchal Vatican Basilica; Cardinal-protector of the Order of Franciscans
Giordano Orsini Italian Deacon of S. Eustachio 1278, March 12 Nicholas III
Giacomo Colonna Italian Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata; commendatario of S. Marcello and S. Maria in Aquiro 1278, March 12 Nicholas III Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian Basilica
Benedetto Caetani Italian Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere Tulliano 1281, April 12 Martin IV

Absentee cardinals

Three cardinals were absent:

Elector Nationality Cardinalatial Title Elevated Elevator Notes
Gerardo Bianchi Italian Bishop of Sabina 1278, March 12 Nicholas III Papal Legate in the Kingdom of Sicily
Bernard Languissel French Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina 1281, April 12 Martin IV Papal Legate in Lombardy and Tuscany
Jean Cholet French Priest of S. Cecilia 1281, April 12 Martin IV Papal Legate in France

The election of Pope Honorius IV

Fifteen cardinals assembled in the episcopal residence at Perugia on April 1, three days after the death of Martin IV. This was according to the ancient custom, rather than the Constitution "Ubi Periculum" (1274) of Pope Gregory X. In the first scrutiny on the following day, they unanimously elected Cardinal Giacomo Savelli, prior Diacanorum of the College of Cardinals. Although he was already 75 years old, Savelli accepted his election and took the name of Honorius IV. His election and acceptance were even more surprising since he was suffering from a severe case of arthritis. He could only get around on crutches, and he had to have a special chair designed for him so that he could be seated at the altar during Mass, and have his arm supported so that he could raise the host at the consecration. He left Perugia for Rome at some point after April 25, 1285, where his election had been welcomed because he was a leading aristocrat of the Eternal City. His father had been Senator of Rome in 1266. He took up residence at the family estate on the Aventine Hill, next to the Church of Santa Sabina.[1] On May 19 the new Pope was ordained to the priesthood in the Vatican Basilica. On the following day, he was consecrated bishop by Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia Latino Malabranca Orsini and solemnly crowned by Cardinal Goffredo da Alatri, who became new protodeacon of the Sacred College.


  1. His predecessor Martin IV (Simon de Brion) was French, and he was not able to visit Rome during his ponticate because of the enmity of Romans who were led by committed Ghibbelines. See Robert Brentano, Rome before Avignon: A Social History of Thirteenth Century Rome (Berkeley-Los Angeles: U. California 1974), pp. 143-144, 183-184.


External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 5/2/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.