The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Lucius III (1181-1185)
Consistory of December 1181 (I)


(1) 1. CARDONA, Pedro de (?-1183)

Birth. (No date found), Catalonia, Spain. Son of Ramón Folch, viscount of Cardona, and Sibilia, daughter of the count of Urgel.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Chancellor of Castilla during the reign of King Alfonso VIII, from 1178 to 1182; he was the last non-Castillian-born chancellor of that kingdom. He was abbot of Husillos.

Sacred orders. He was ordained subdeacon by Pope Alexander III with the intention of retaining him in the Roman Curia. At the end of 1180, the chapter of the metropolitan cathedral of Toledo, see which had been vacant for six months, received permission from the king to proceed with the election of the future archbishop; the monarch manifested that he would be very pleased if the elected were Pedro de Cardona, the royal chancellor at the moment, the chancellor was in the Roman Curia dealing with matters of the king of Castilla; the chapter delegated the faculty of election to compromisaries, who with a commission of the chapter were dispatched to Rome to insure that the candidate would accept the promotion; after sounding out the will of the chancellor, the compromisaries elected him.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Toledo by its cathedral chapter in 1181; confirmed by the pope on July 2, 1181 (1); he took possession of the see; never received the episcopal consecration. After his election, he stayed for a while at the Roman Curia and during that time he sent procurators to Toledo for its administration; it is probable that, later, he spent some time in Spain because he subscribed royal documents in Toledo in April and May 1182. He intervened, with the archbishop of Tarragona, in the dispute between the bishop of Barcelona and the prior of Estenay over the chapels of San Celoní and Sabadell.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest of S. Lorenzo in Damaso in the consistory of December 1181; he probably resigned the see upon his promotion to the cardinalate, as it was the custom at the time, and stayed in Rome. Subscribed papal bulls issued between June 18 and July 7, 1182. Pope Lucius III testified in a letter that the cardinal, while he was archbishop elect of Toledo, had paid Roman bankers the money that they had lent him. He is the first cardinal from Spain.

Death. June 26, 1183, (no place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. 81; Ostos Salcedo, Pilar. "La cancillería de Alfonso VIII, rey de Castilla (1158-1214): una aproximación." Boletín Millares Carlo, XIII (1994), 101-136 (Ejemplar dedicado a: Actas del congreso Agustín Millares Carlo: maestro de medievalistas); Riu y Cabanas, Ramón. "Primeros cardenales de la sede primada", Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, (Madrid), XXVII (1896), 137-141; Rivera Recio, Juan Francisco. Los Arzobispos de Toledo en la Baja Edad Media (S. XII - XV). Toledo : Diputación Provincial, 1969, (Publicaciones del Instituto Provincial de Investigaciones y Estudios Toledanos; Serie segunda ; Vestigios del pasado ; v. 3), p. 31-33.

(1) According to a letter of Pope Alexander III ,dated in Viterbo on July 6, 1181, the elected archbishop did not have the will to accept but after the papal confirmation of the election made by the Spanish envoys, could not decline. Partial text in Latin of the papal letter is offered by Rivera Recio, Los Arzobispos de Toledo en la Baja Edad Media, p. 31-32: " .... ad vestram volumus notitiam pervenire quod dilecto filio nostro Petro de Cardona, litteratura eius, honestate et devotione pensata, a nobis de fratrum nostrorum consigilo in subdiaconum ordinato habentibus in proposito ipsum in Romana Ecclesia retinere, nuntii ecelesie Toletanae plenum potestatem eligendi habentes, sicut ex litteris karissimi in Christo filii nostri (Alfonsi), illustris castellani regis et maioris partms Capituli quas portavenant apertius monstrabatur prestito juramento quod mdem rex eligendi potestatem absolutam et liberam in die Natalis Domini proximo preterito Capmtulo contulisset, prefatum subdiaconum in archiepiscopum de nostra et fratrum nostrorum conscientia elegerunt. Quam utiqne electionem, licet contra voluntatem et propositum suum, curavimus auctoritate apostolica confirmare...".

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