(16) 1. CRAMAUD, Simon de (ca. 1345-1422)
Birth. Ca. 1345 (1), castle of Cramaud, parish of Biennac, near Rochechouart, diocese of Limoges, France. Second of the three sons of Pierre de Cramaud, squire of Biennac, and Mathilde (or Marthe) de Sardène, from Salignac. His two brothers were Pierre and Aimery. He was called the Cardinal Rémois.
Education. Initially, he studied in Orléans; later in Paris, where he obtained a licentiate in law in 1369 and a doctorate in 1375. He achieved a reputation as an excellent canonist.
Early life. Écolâtre of the cathedral of Orléans. Master of requests of King Charles VI of France, December 21, 1380; at the same time, he was named chancellor of Jean de France, duke of Berry, brother of the king of France. The duke of Berry named him judge and conservator of three Jewish sénéchaussées of Languedoc on June 16, 1382. Abbot commendatario of the monastery Notre-Dame la Grande in Poitiers. Canon of the chapter of the church of Saint-Martin de Tours, April 16, 1388. He signed the matrimonial act of the duke of Berry with Jeanne, countess of Auvergne and Bourgogne on June 5, 1389.
Episcopate. Elected bishop of Agen, May 30, 1382. Consecrated (no information found). Transferred to the see of Béziers, August 7, 1383; took possession of the see by procurator, September 2, 1383; entered the see in a solemn ceremony on May 16, 1384. Transferred to the see of Poitiers, November 24, 1385. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Sens by Antipope Clement VII on May 27, 1390; the transfer did not take place. Named patriarch of Alexandria and administrator of Avignon, March 17, 1391; occupied the former see until July 2, 1409; occupied the latter post until September 19, 1391. Named perpetual administrator of Carcassone by Antipope Benedict XIII on September 19, 1391; occupied the post until July 2, 1409. He endeavored for the extinction of the schism in the Assembly of the Clergy in Paris from December 17, 1394 until February 2, 1395; he was named president of the assembly. In 1395, the doctors of the University of Paris deputized him to go to King Charles VI of France in Perpignan to make the monarch see the need to suppress the activities of Antipope Benedict XIII. From July to November 1395, he went, with other delegates, to England to convince King Richard III of the need to adopt the via cessionis to end the schism. The following year, 1396, he went to Aragón y Castilla, for the same purpose, in an embassy in which Gilles Deschamps, future cardinal, also took part; they returned in September of that year. In March 1398, he participated in another Assembly with Emperor Wenceslas, Kings Charles VI of France and Charles III of Navarre, and the princes and premier seigneurs of the realm; he was invited to sit at the table with the three monarchs; the king and the bishops of France deputized Patriarch Cramaud to go to Marseille to ask Antipope Benedict XIII to abdicate; the mission was unsuccessful; he wrote a treatise on the schism demonstrating the need to refuse obedience to the antipope; on May 22, 1398. King Charles VI convoked an assembly of numerous prelates and doctors, which was opened by Patriarch Cramaud with a discourse in French explaining all what had happened since the death of Antipope Clement VII and concluding with the refusal of obedience to Antipope Benedict XIII; a second assembly, celebrated in July, decided to suspend all the benefices and the exercise of authority of the antipope; two commissaries were sent by the assembly to convey to the antipope what had been resolved; Antipope Benedict XIII received them and indicated that he intended to die "a pope". In May 1400, he was sent to the Diet of Frankfurt; and in October of that year, to Venice. In June 1401, he was sent to the Diet of Metz. Another Assembly of the Clergy met between November 1406 and January 1407; it named Patriarch Cramaud head of an embassy to Antipope Benedict XIII and Pope Gregory XII, to ask them to submit their resignations; the patriarch met the antipope on May 10, 1407 and the pope on the following month of July; all the negotiations were fruitless. Participated in the Council of Pisa, which was opened on March 26, 1409; he was its second president, after Cardinal Gui de Malesec; he announced the deposition of Pope Gregory XII and Antipope Benedict XIII on June 5. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Reims by the new Antipope Alexander V on July 2, 1409; he took possession of the see the following December 15. After the death of Antipope Alexander V on May 3, 1410, Archbishop Cramaud continued in the obedience of Pisa, allying himself to Antipope John XXIII.
Cardinalate. Created pseudocardinal priest in the consistory of April 13, 1413; received the title of S. Lorenzo in Lucina and the red hat on May 12, 1413. Named perpetual administrator of Poitiers, April 14, 1413; occupied the see until his death (2). Attended the Council of Constance; on April 14, 1417, he pronounced the sermon "Libera, Deus Israel, ex omnibus tribulationibus suis Ecclesiam". Participated in the conclave of 1417, which elected Pope Martin V; the new pope confirmed the cardinal's dignities and benefices. He left Constance on December 17, 1417 to return to France. He founded a school of six clerics in Poitiers on July 2, 1421. The cardinal prepared his testament on March 11, 1422.
Death. Tuesday January 19, 1423 (3), Poitiers. Buried in a marble tomb, under an arch behind the choir, in the cathedral of Saint-Pierre de Poitiers; later, his effigy in alabaster was placed over the tomb; the statues of the tomb were destroyed by the Huguenots in 1562 and the rest was destroyed by the French Revolution; all that remains is an inscription in Gothic characters on a stone painted in black (4); fragments were rediscovered in 1858.
Bibliography. Berton, Charles. Dictionnaire des cardinaux, contenant des notions générales sur le cardinalat, la nomenclature complète ..., des cardinaux de tous les temps et de tous les pays ... les détails biographiques essentiels sur tous les cardinaux ... de longues études sur les cardinaux célèbre .... Paris : J.-P. Migne, 1857 ; Facsimile edition. Farnborough ; Gregg, 1969, col. 778-779; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 20-22; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1630, II, col. 807; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VI. Les cardinaux du Grand Schisme (1378-1417)". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1931. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1931, p. 161; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen I (1198-1431). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1913; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 33, 43, 77, 82, 124, 138, 166, 399, 419 and 448; Fisquet, Honoré Jean Pierre. La France pontificale (Gallia Christiana) : histoire chronologique et biographique des archevêques et évêques de tous les diocèses de France depuis l'etablissement du Christianisme jusqu' à nos jours, divisée en 18 provinces ecclésiastiques. 21 vols. Paris : E. Repos, 1864-1874, VI, 133-141; Kaminsky, Howard. Simon de Cramaud and the Great Schism. New Brunswick, New Jersey : Rutgers University Press, 1983.
Links. Biography by Nicholas Weber, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in French, pp. 133-141, Bibliothèque Nationale de France; biography, in English, Wikipedia; his arms, Araldica Vaticana; and engraving of his tomb, cathedral de Poitiers, Poitiers, France, Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
(1) This is according to Kaminsky, Simon de Cramaud and the Great Schism, p. 71. "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VI. Les cardinaux du Grand Schisme (1378-1417)". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1931, p. 161, says that he was born ca. 1360. His biography in English, linked above, says that he was born before 1360. His biography in French, also linked above, says that he was born toward the middle of the 14th century.
(2) His biography in French, p. 137, linked above, says that he resigned the see on February 14, 1424 (this source indicates that he died on December 15, 1429).
(3) This is according to Kaminsky, Simon de Cramaud and the Great Schism, pp. 287 and 318, n. 87. "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VI. Les cardinaux du Grand Schisme (1378-1417)". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1931, p. 161, says that he died on December 15, 1422 and adds that he did not die in 1423, 1424 or 1426; and Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, pp. 33 and 43. Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, III, 22; Berton, Dictionnaire des cardinaux, col. 776; and Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, col. 808, say that he died in 1429. His biography in English, linked above, says that he died on December 14, 1422. His biography in French, also linked above, says that he died on December 15, 1429. His biographical data in "Araldica Vaticana", linked above, says that he died on December 15, 1422.
(4) This is the text of the inscription on his tomb taken from Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, col. 807:
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