Pope Urban VI (Latin: Urbanus VI; c. 1318 – 15 October 1389), born Bartolomeo Prignano (Italian pronunciation: [bartoloˈmɛːo priɲˈɲaːno]), was Pope from 8 April 1378 to his death in 1389. He is so far the last pope to be elected from outside the College of Cardinals. His reign, which began shortly after the end of the Avignon Papacy, was marked by immense conflict between rival factions as part of the Western Schism.
|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||8 April 1378|
|Papacy ended||15 October 1389|
|Opposed to||Avignon claimant: |
|Consecration||21 March 1364|
|Birth name||Bartolomeo Prignano|
Itri, Kingdom of Naples
|Died||15 October 1389 (aged 70–71)|
Rome, Papal States
|Coat of arms|
|Other popes named Urban|
|Papal styles of|
Pope Urban VI
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
|Posthumous style||His Holiness|
Born in Itri, Prignano was a devout monk and learned casuist, trained at Avignon. On 21 March 1364 he was consecrated Archbishop of Acerenza in the Kingdom of Naples. He became Archbishop of Bari in 1377.
Prignano had developed a reputation for simplicity and frugality and a head for business when acting Vice-Chancellor. He also demonstrated a penchant for learning, and, according to Cristoforo di Piacenza, he was without famiglia in an age of nepotism, although once in the papal chair he elevated four cardinal-nephews and sought to place one of them in control of Naples. His great faults undid his virtues: Ludwig von Pastor summed up his character: "He lacked Christian gentleness and charity. He was naturally arbitrary and extremely violent and imprudent, and when he came to deal with the burning ecclesiastical question of the day, that of reform, the consequences were disastrous."
On the death of Pope Gregory XI (27 March 1378), a Roman mob surrounded the papal conclave to demand a Roman pope. The cardinals being under some haste and great pressure to avoid the return of the Papal seat to Avignon, Prignano was unanimously chosen Pope on 8 April 1378 as acceptable to the disunited majority of French cardinals, taking the name Urban VI. Not being a Cardinal, he was not well known. Immediately following the conclave, most of the cardinals fled Rome before the mob could learn that not a Roman (though not a Frenchman either), but a subject of Queen Joan I of Naples, had been chosen.
Though the coronation was carried out in scrupulous detail, leaving no doubt as to the legitimacy of the new pontiff, the French were not particularly happy with this move and began immediately to conspire against this Pope. Urban VI did himself no favors; whereas the cardinals had expected him pliant, he was considered arrogant and angry by many of his contemporaries. Dietrich of Nieheim reported the opinion of the cardinals that his elevation had turned his head, and Froissart, Leonardo Aretino, Tommaso de Acerno and St. Antoninus of Florence recorded similar conclusions.
Immediately following his election, Urban began preaching intemperately to the cardinals (some of whom thought the delirium of power had made Urban mad and unfit for rule), insisting that the business of the Curia should be carried on without gratuities and gifts, forbidding the cardinals to accept annuities from rulers and other lay persons, condemning the luxury of their lives and retinues, and the multiplication of benefices and bishoprics in their hands. Nor would he remove again to Avignon, thus alienating King Charles V of France.
The cardinals were mortally offended. Five months after his election, the French cardinals met at Anagni, inviting Urban, who realized he would be seized, and perhaps slain. In his absence, they issued a manifesto of grievances on 9 August which declared his election invalid since they had been cowed by the mob into electing an Italian. Letters to the missing Italian cardinals followed on 20 August declaring the papal throne vacant (sede vacante). Then at Fondi, secretly supported by the king of France, the French cardinals proceeded to elect Robert of Geneva as Pope on 20 September. Robert, a militant cleric who had succeeded Albornoz as commander of the papal troops, took the name Clement VII, beginning the Western Schism, which divided Catholic Christendom until 1417.
Urban was declared excommunicated by the French antipope and was called "the Antichrist", while Catherine of Siena, defending Pope Urban, called the cardinals "devils in human form." Coluccio Salutati identified the political nature of the withdrawal: "Who does not see," the Chancellor openly addressed the French cardinals, "that you seek not the true pope, but opt solely for a Gallic pontiff." Opening rounds of argument were embodied in John of Legnano's defense of the election, De fletu ecclesiæ, written and incrementally revised between 1378 and 1380, which Urban caused to be distributed in multiple copies, and in the numerous rebuttals that soon appeared. Events overtook the rhetoric, however; 26 new cardinals were created in a single day, and by an arbitrary alienation of the estates and property of the church, funds were raised for open war. At the end of May 1379 Clement went to Avignon, where he was more than ever at the mercy of the king of France. Louis I, Duke of Anjou, was granted a phantom kingdom of Adria to be carved out of papal Emilia and Romagna, if he could unseat the pope at Rome.
Meanwhile, the War of the Eight Saints, carried on with spates of unprecedented cruelty to civilians, was draining the resources of Florence, though the city ignored the interdict placed upon it by Gregory, declared its churches open, and sold ecclesiastical property for 100,000 florins to finance the war. Bologna had submitted to the Church in August 1377, and Florence signed a treaty at Tivoli on 28 July 1378 at a cost of 200,000 florins indemnity extorted by Urban for the restitution of church properties, receiving in return the papal favor and the lifting of the disregarded interdict.
Urban's erstwhile patroness, Queen Joan I of Naples, deserted him in the late summer of 1378, in part because her former archbishop had become her feudal suzerain. Urban now lost sight of the larger issues and began to commit a series of errors. He turned upon his powerful neighbor Joan, excommunicated her as an obstinate partisan of Clement, and permitted a crusade to be preached against her. Soon her enemy and cousin, the "crafty and ambitious" Charles of Durazzo, representing the Sicilian Angevin line, was made sovereign over the Kingdom of Naples on 1 June 1381, and was crowned by Urban. Joan's authority was declared forfeit, and Charles murdered her in 1382. "In return for these favours, Charles had to promise to hand over Capua, Caserta, Aversa, Nocera, and Amalfi to the pope's nephew, a thoroughly worthless and immoral man." Once ensconced at Naples, Charles found his new kingdom invaded by Louis of Anjou and Amadeus VI of Savoy; hard-pressed, he reneged on his promises. In Rome, the Castel Sant'Angelo was besieged and taken, and Urban was forced to flee. In the fall of 1383 he was determined to go to Naples and press Charles in person. There he found himself virtually a prisoner. After a first reconciliation, with the death of Louis (20 September 1384), Charles found himself freer to resist Urban's feudal pretensions, and relations took a turn for the worse. Urban was shut up in Nocera, from the walls of which he daily fulminated his anathemas against his besiegers, with bell, book and candle; a price was set on his head.
Rescued by two Neapolitan barons who had sided for Louis, Raimondello Orsini and Tommaso di Sanseverino, after six months of siege he succeeded in making his escape to Genoa with six galleys sent him by doge Antoniotto Adorno. Several among his cardinals who had been shut up in Nocera with him were determined to make a stand, proposing that the Pope, due to incapacity and obstinacy, be put in the charge of one of the cardinals. Urban had them seized, tortured and put to death, "a crime unheard of through the centuries" the chronicler Egidio da Viterbo remarked.
On the death of Charles of Naples on 24 February 1386, Urban moved to Lucca in December of the same year. The Kingdom of Naples was contended between a party favouring his son Ladislaus and Louis II of Anjou. Urban contrived to take advantage of the anarchy which had ensued (as well as of the presence of the feeble Maria as Queen of Sicily) to seize Naples for his nephew Francesco Moricotti Prignani. In the meantime he was able to have Viterbo and Perugia return to the Papal control.
In August 1388 Urban moved from Perugia with thousands of troops. To raise funds he had proclaimed a Jubilee to be held in 1390. At the time of the proclamation, only 38 years had elapsed since the previous Jubilee, which was celebrated under Clement VI. During the march, Urban fell from his mule at Narni and had to recover in early October in Rome, where he was able to oust the communal rule of the banderesi and restore the Papal authority. He died soon afterwards, likely of injuries caused by the fall, but not without rumors of poisoning. It is noteworthy that during the reconstruction of Saint Peter's Basilica, Urban's remains were almost dumped out to be destroyed so his sarcophagus could be used to water horses. The sarcophagus was saved only when church historian Giacomo Grimaldi arrived and, realizing its importance, ordered it preserved.
Pope Urban VI's successor was Pope Boniface IX.
|Catholic Church titles|
8 April 1378 – 15 October 1389
Avignon claimant: Clement VII
The papal conclave of 1378 which was held from April 7 to 9, 1378 was the papal conclave which was the immediate cause of the Western Schism in the Catholic Church. The conclave was one of the shortest in the history of the Catholic Church. The conclave was also the first held in the Vatican and in Old St. Peter's Basilica (the elections and conclaves in Rome prior to the Avignon Papacy having been held mostly in the Basilica of St. John Lateran) since 1159.Pope Gregory XI died on March 26, 1378 in Rome, having returned from Avignon to pursue his territorial interests in the Papal States during the War of the Eight Saints. Although the French cardinals constituted a majority of the College of Cardinals due to the preceding Avignon Papacy, they succumbed to the will of the Roman mob, which demanded the election of an Italian pontiff. They elected Bartolommeo Prignano, who took the name Pope Urban VI. This was the last time a non-cardinal was elected pope.1380s
The 1380s was a decade of the Julian Calendar which began on January 1, 1380, and ended on December 31, 1389.1389 papal conclave
The papal conclave of 1389 (25 October – 2 November) was convoked after the death of Pope Urban VI. The conclave is historically unique because all of the cardinal electors were the creation of a single pontiff: Urban VI, the very pope who was being replaced. None of the surviving cardinals created by previous popes recognized Urban VI as legitimate (see: Western Schism). In addition, Urban VI had deposed four of his creatures, and three were absent, leaving only sixteen cardinal electors.Agostino da Lanzano
Agostino da Lanzano (died 1410) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Spoleto (1404-1410), Bishop of Perugia (1390–1404), and Bishop of Penne e Atri (1380–1390).Bertrand Lagier
Bertrand Lagier O.Min. (died 8 November 1392) was a French Franciscan and cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was bishop of Assisi in 1357, and bishop of Glandèves in France, in 1368.
He was made cardinal on 30 May 1371 by Pope Gregory XI, and then bishop of Ostia in April 1378 by Pope Urban VI. After the outbreak of the Great Western Schism he joined the obedience of the Avignon Antipope Clement VII.Charles III of Naples
Charles the Short or Charles of Durazzo (1345 – 24 February 1386) was King of Naples and titular King of Jerusalem from 1382 to 1386 as Charles III, and King of Hungary from 1385 to 1386 as Charles II. In 1381, Charles created the chivalric Order of the Ship. In 1383, he succeeded to the Principality of Achaea on the death of James of Baux.Compagnia di San Giorgio
The Compagnia di San Giorgio was the name of several companies of mercenaries in Italy during the 14th century.
A first company under this name (meaning "Company of St. George") was founded by Lodrisio Visconti, usurper of the title of lord of Seprio in northern Italy, in 1339. It included some 6,500 men, of which some were paid by Mastino II della Scala (lord of Verona and hirer of Lodrisio), others were German mercenaries such as Konrad von Landau and Werner von Urslingen, Swiss and men from Graubünden, and other sent by allied such as Calcino Tornielli, lord of Novara, Louis son of Aymon of Savoy, Obizzo III d'Este of Ferrara, Ludovico I Gonzaga of Mantua, Thomas II of Saluzzo, Taddeo Pepoli of Bologna and Bertram, Patriarch of Aquileia. Lodrisio and his army were defeated in the Battle of Parabiago; some of the survivors ravaged the area until they were crushed by Luchino Visconti.
In 1365 another Visconti, Ambrogio, an illegitimate son of Bernabò Visconti, founded another company with the same name, but it soon vanished. He reformed it in 1372, but two years later it was destroyed in a riot in the Bargamasco, in which Ambrogio himself was killed.
In 1377 Alberico da Barbiano, one of the main Italian condottieri, founded the most successful of the three Compagnie di San Giorgio. The company included other famous condottieri, such as Muzio Attendolo, Braccio da Montone, Ugolotto Biancardo, Jacopo dal Verme, Facino Cane, Ottobuono de' Terzi and others. The company's members could be only Italians: a remarkable feature in a time in which most of the mercenaries in Italy were foreigners. The reason for this decision by Barbiano is not clear, but perhaps it came after he saw the atrocities of foreign mercenaries under John Hawkwood during the so-called Cesena Bloodbath of 1377.
The company helped Pope Urban VI against Antipope Clement VII, defeating a Breton mercenary army at Marino in 1379. Later it fought for Charles of Durazzo in his conquest of the Kingdom of Naples.Dobrogost of Nowy Dwór
Dobrogost z Nowego Dwóru (died 14 September 1401) was a medieval Bishop in Poland. He was Bishop of Poznań from 1384 until 1395 and then Archbishop of Gniezno from 1395 till 1401.
Dobrogost was born in 1355 into the Naleczów Polish noble family. In his youth he and his two brothers, Abraham and Niemierzym were granted by Prince Siemowit III, Duke of Masovia the Nowego Dworu (or “New Manor”). and he obtained a doctor of law at the University of Padua.
Between 1368 and 1374 was chancellor at the court of Siemowit III with whose support he was, on 16 April 1382 made archbishop of Gniezno. However, he was arrested on his way to Rome by King Louis I of Hungary due to his families role in Hungarian dynastic affairs. In June 1384, however, Louis gave Dobrogost the bishopric in Poznań.
As Bishop he undertook a diplomatic mission to pope Urban VI on behalf of Władysław II Jagiełło, the result of which was a Papal Bull of 12 March 1388 forming a bishopric in Vilnius, and between 1386 and 1394 he was a papal collector.
On 17 May 1394 he was made Archbishop of Gniezno.
Archbishop Dobrogost died on 14 September 1401 in Chełmno and was buried in the Gniezno Cathedral.Easton, Norfolk
Easton is a small village and civil parish in Norfolk, England, to the west of Norwich. It covers an area of 6.25 km2 (2.41 sq mi) and had a population of 1,141 in 445 households at the 2001 census, the population increasing to 1,514 at the 2011 Census. Located close to the Royal Norfolk Showground and the A47, it also houses a campus of Easton & Otley College, a large agricultural college, in the Grade II listed 18th-century Easton Hall.The Grade I listed Church of England parish church of St Peter stands at the west end of the village, near the roundabout at the end of the southern Norwich bypass. It is built mainly of flint, rendered in part, with stone dressings. Restored in the 1880s, it dates from the late 12th century with additions made in the 13th and 15th centuries. The tower collapsed in the 18th century. The south doorway is 12th century and the marble font dates from about 1200. Easton was the birthplace of the 14th century Cardinal Adam of Easton, who was imprisoned in Italy for conspiring against Pope Urban VI and spared execution through the intervention of King Richard II.The village's football team, Easton FC, currently plays in the Anglian Combination.Euthymius II of Constantinople
Euthymius II (Greek: Εὐθύμιος Β΄), (? – 29 March 1416) was Patriarch of Constantinople in 1410–16.
Already at a young age he became a monk and was soon after ordained a priest. He distinguished himself for his theological and rhetorical abilities, which he employed in defence of Palamism and against the Union of the Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church, for which he was accorded the honorific appellation "Doctor of the Church".
Despite being a fervent anti-unionist, he was sent by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos (reigned 1391–1425) to participate in the discussions for a prospective union with Pope Urban VI (1378–89). The mission achieved some success, but with no firm commitments on either side, and on his return to Constantinople he was promoted to archimandrite and became abbot of the prestigious Stoudios Monastery.Eventually Euthymius advanced to the post of protosynkellos, after which he became Patriarch of Constantinople. During his tenure, he endeavoured to remove the Church from imperial control and act autonomously. Of his writings, only a philosophical treatise "On being and not being" and two letters survive. Euthymius II died on 29 March 1416.Floris van Wevelinkhoven
Floris van Wevelinkhoven (ca. 1315 – Castle Hardenberg, 4 April 1393) was Bishop of Münster from 1364 to 1378 and Bishop of Utrecht from 1378 to 1393.
Floris van Wevelinkhoven descended from high nobility, and started his career in the Bishopric of Cologne, where he climbed to the position of vicedeacon of the cathedral chapter in 1356. He was appointed bishop of Münster by the pope as a result of several changes in positions, in which the Bishop of Liège Engelbert III of the Mark was moved to Cologne, the bishop of Utrecht Jan van Arkel was moved to Liege, and the bishop of Münster Jan van Virneburg was moved to Utrecht. Such movements were common in medieval times, because whenever someone became bishop of a new bishopric, he had to pay a large amount of taxes to the pope, the so-called servitia tax.
In Münster, Floris fought the unruly nobility and put the bishopric's finances in order. In 1368 he signed a Landesvereinigung with the States.
In 1378 another shuffle of ecclesiastical seats took place; Arnold II of Horne was moved from Utrecht to Liege by Pope Urban VI, and Floris was moved from Münster to Utrecht. Despite his advanced age at his accession (63), Floris showed himself to be an able and powerful ruler, good organiser and diplomat, and he secured the support of his subjects.
Firstly he had to deal with a rival candidate, the by Antipope Clement VII appointed Reinoud van Vianen. The start of his reign was further made difficult by the rising faction struggles in Utrecht, which were finally put to rest by the banishment of the Gunterlingen faction in 1380.
Once firmly established, Floris dealt with the unruly knights in the Sticht with support from the cities and chapters, and this way enlarged his authority. His predecessor Arnold van Hoorn had been forced to lease a lot of castles as a result of high debts, but Floris managed to take them back by arms. In the case of the castle of Montfoort it took a siege of five months. Though he later had to lease several castles and offices again, his secular rule can be considered to be a success.
In the Western Schism, Floris sided with Pope Urban VI. He was at first sympathic with the ideas of Geert Groote, but at the encouragement of Geert Grote's opponents, gave him a speaking ban. Later, however, he favored the monasteries of the Modern Devotion, such as the Congregation of Windesheim
Floris van Wevelinkhoven is buried in the Dom Church. A gravestone on the highchoir commemorates him.
In 2008 a square in Hardenberg was named after him; the van Wevelinckhovenplein. In Zwolle a street has been named after him.Francesco Moricotti Prignani
Francesco Moricotti Prignani (Prignano) (died 1394) was an Italian bishop and Cardinal. A cardinal-nephew, he was created Cardinal in 1378 by his uncle Pope Urban VI.
He was Archbishop of Pisa from 1362. He was named Bishop of Palestrina in 1380 and became Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals in 1381. Regent of the Apostolic Chancery 1382-85 and Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church from October 1385 until his death. He presided over the Papal conclave, 1389 and consecrated new Pope Boniface IX bishop of Rome.Guglielmo della Vigna
Guglielmo della Vigna, O.S.B. (died 1407) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Todi (1405–1407) and Bishop of Ancona (1386–1405).John de Peebles
John de Peebles [Peblys] was a 14th-century bishop of Dunkeld and chancellor of Scotland. He was a graduate of the University of Paris by 1351, where he became both a determinant and licentiate. He chose to remain there and soon became procurator of the "English nation" before obtaining a doctorate in Canon law. From 1360 he was an official in the bishopric of Glasgow and was master of the hospital of Peebles. By 1365 he was treasurer of Glasgow. Eventually he held canonries and prebends in that diocese and in the diocese of Aberdeen and controlled the church of Douglas. By 1374 he was archdeacon of St Andrews and the papal collector for the Kingdom of Scotland. He was provided to the bishopric of Dunkeld by Pope Gregory XI either in late 1377 or early 1378.
When the Western Schism began, he initially supported Pope Urban VI, perhaps still being in Continental Europe on the succession of Urban. However, in 1379 Avignon Pope Clement VII commissioned the bishop of St Andrews to absolve him from this, and granted John leave to be consecrated by any adhering bishop. He was Chancellor of Scotland between March 1377 and March 1390. He died sometime between 18 March 1390 and 1 February 1391.Muzio Colonna
Muzio Colonna (1596–1632) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Marsi (1629–1632).Santa Maria in Aquiro
Santa Maria in Aquiro is a church in Rome, Italy. It is dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, and is located on Piazza Capranica.
The church is ancient – it was restored by Pope Gregory III in the 8th century, and thus must have existed before then. One theory is that it was the titulus Equitii, though San Martino ai Monti is a more likely candidate. It is also referred to as Santa Maria della Visitazione, notably by Pope Urban VI in 1389. The origins of the name are nebulous; most attribute it to a corruption of the term a Cyro, perhaps referring in early days to a neighborhood resident. According to another theory Acyro refers to a curruption of the Latin word "circus", a stadium for horse racing, which was located in the vicinity. In 1540 Pope Paul III granted the church to the Confraternity of Orphans, and it was restored in 1588.Sinibaldo I Ordelaffi
Sinibaldo I Ordelaffi (1336 – October 28, 1386) was a lord of Forlì, the son of Francesco II Ordelaffi.
In 1376, with the support of the Ghibelline party, he took advantage of a revolt of Forlì against the Papal authority, to rebuild the seigniory established by his ancestor Francesco I in 1315. Pope Urban VI named him Papal vicar of Forlimpopoli and Castrocaro Terme from 1379.
In 1382, with the help of Alberico da Barbiano, he pushed back the assault of Louis of Anjou. Sinibaldo died in 1386, probably poisoned. His nephew Pino, who had imprisoned him in the castle of Ravaldino the previous year, succeeded him.The Bad Popes
The Bad Popes is a 1969 book by E. R. Chamberlin documenting the lives of eight of the most controversial popes (papal years in parentheses):
Pope Stephen VI (896–897), who had his predecessor Pope Formosus exhumed, tried, de-fingered, briefly reburied, and thrown in the Tiber.
Pope John XII (955–964), who gave land to a mistress, murdered several people, and was killed by a man who caught him in bed with his wife.
Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044, 1045, 1047–1048), who "sold" the Papacy.
Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303), who is lampooned in Dante's Divine Comedy.
Pope Urban VI (1378–1389), who complained that he did not hear enough screaming when Cardinals who had conspired against him were tortured .
Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503), a Borgia, who was guilty of nepotism and whose unattended corpse swelled until it could barely fit in a coffin.
Pope Leo X (1513–1521), a spendthrift member of the Medici family who once spent 1/7 of his predecessors' reserves on a single ceremony.
Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), also a Medici, whose power-politicking with France, Spain, and Germany got Rome sacked.Thomas of Frignano
Thomas of Frignano (1305–1381) was an Italian Franciscan theologian. He became Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, and on 19 July 1372 was approved by Pope Gregory XI as patriarch of Grado.Tommaso was created a cardinal on 20 September 1378 by Pope Urban VI. He was Bishop of Frascati and, as the senior bishop in Urban's new college, probably Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals from December 1378. He died in Rome on 19 November 1381.
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
|History of the papacy|
of the faithful
|Early Middle Ages|
|High Middle Ages|
|Late Middle Ages|