The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Antipope Felix V (1430-1447)
Consistory of April 6, 1444 (IV)


(19) 1. ARCES, Jean d' (1370s-1454)

Birth. 1370s, Montiers, France. Of a noble family of the parish of Saint-Imier, near Grenoble. His last name is also listed as Arci and Arsy. Called the Cardinal of Tarentaise.

Education. Licentiate in canon law.

Early life. Provost of Montjou, diocese of Sion. Canon of Saint-Augustine. Prior of Saint-Valentin, Bissy, Savoie, in 1415. Successor of his uncle Hugues d'Arces as provost of Grand-Saint-Bernard, 1419 to 1438. In the general chapter of Etoy in 1437, he promulgated new statutes for the provostship; they were ephemeral but in part they serve as a precedent for the constitutional reforms of 1438.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Tarentaise, February 28, 1438; occupied the post until his death. He took part in the Council of Basel; he was the representative of the council's president, Cardinal Louis Aleman; he was one of the electors of Antipope Felix V on November 5, 1439.

Cardinalate. Created pseudocardinal priest by Antipope Felix V in Genève on April 6, 1444; received the title of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo. He submitted to Pope Nicholas V, who absolved him; created cardinal in the consistory of December 19, 1449; published the following day with the title of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo.

Death. December 12, 1454, Montiers. Buried in the cathedral of Montiers.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 121-122; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 4 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 945 and 976; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1932, p. 150; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 10, 11, 64 and 245.

Webgraphy. Biography, in French; his arms, last one on the first row, no. 39; and La famille d'Arces, in French; he is mentioned in "Des ecclésiastiques".

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(20) 2. GONÇALVES DE AMARAL, Luis (?-1444)

Birth. (No date and place found), Portugal.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Viseu.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Lamego, June 5, 1426. Consecration (no information found). Transferred to the see of Viseu, September 25, 1430. Ambassador of the king of Portugal at the Council of Basel from 1433. Pope Eugenius IV deposed him as bishop of Viseu on September 9, 1439 after declarations against him made in Ferrara and Florence. He was one of the bishops who elected Antipope Felix V on November 5, 1439.

Cardinalate. Created pseudocardinal priest in the consistory of April 6, 1444; his title is not known; his promotion did not take place because he had died three weeks earlier.

Death. February 10, 1444 (no place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 4 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 945; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1932, p. 146; 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. 291 and 532; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 10.

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(21) 3. KOT Z DĘBNA, Wincenty (ca. 1395-1448)

Birth. Ca. 1395 (1), Dębno, Wilekopolsce, near Poznań, Poland. Son of Mikoéaj Kot, castellanus in Nakéo, and his wife, Maégorzata. He had several siblings, including brothers Wojciech, Jan, and Jakub, dean of metropolitan cathedral chapter of Gniezno. Related to Jan Lutek z Brzezia, bishop of Kraków from 1464 to 1471. His last name is also listed as Kot Dembicy and Dambico.

Education. Studied at the Academy of Kraków; obtained a baccalaureate in 1415.

Early life. Professor at the Academy of Kraków. Canon of the metropolitan cathedrals of Gniezno and Poznań in 1422. Custos of the metropolitan cathedral of Gniezno.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Gniezno and primate of Poland by the metropolitan cathedral chapter on October 29, 1436; confirmed by the pope March 15, 1437. Consecrated, September 1, 1437, by Cardinal Zbigniew Oleśnicki, bishop of Kraków, assisted by Konraw z Silesia-Öls, bishop of Wrocław, by Stanisław Ciolek, bishop of Poznań, by Stanisław Pawłoski, bishop of Płck, by Piotr z Podoska, bishop of Lebus and by Jan, O.F.M., titular bishop of Athyra. The king of Poland named him legate before Emperor Albrecht. in 1439.

Cardinalate. Created pseudocardinal priest with the title of S. Crisogono in the consistory of April 6, 1444. Resigned the pseudocardinalate on October 2, 1447; tried to obtain the recognition of his promotion from Pope Nicholas V but died before obtaining it.

Death. August 14, 1448, Gniezno. Buried in the metropolitan and primatial cathedral of Gniezno.

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 4 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 945-946; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1932, p. 146; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 10 and 160; Nitecki, Piotr. Biskupi Kościoła w Polsce w latach 965-1999. Słownik biograficzny. Przedmowa Henryk Gulbinowicz. Warszawa : Instytut Wydawniczy "Pax", Warszawa 2000, col. 219-220; Prokop, Krzysztof Rafał. Polscy kardynałowie. Kraków : Wydawnictwo WAM, 2001, pp. 43-51.

Webgraphy. Brief biographical entry, in Polish; biographical data, in Polish; and portrait and biography, in Polish.

(1) This is according to the first two biographies in Polish, linked above; the third biography, also linked above; and Prokop, Polscy kardynałowie, say that he was born in 1395.

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(22) 4. ESTAING, O.S.B., Guillaume-Hugues d' (?-1455)

Birth. (No datew found), Etain, diocese of Verdun. Son of Hugues, called also Huln. He is also listed in German sources as Wilhelm Huhn. His last name is also listed as de Stagno. He was called the Cardinal of Metz.

Education. Obtained a doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law. Entered the Order of Saint Benedict (Benedictines).

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found). Archdeacon of Verdun. Archdeacon of Metz. Sent to the Council of Basel. In 1437, he was a member of the conciliar commission that reported on the bad administration of the church by Pope Eugenius IV. He was one of the electors of Antipope Felix V on November 5, 1439.

Cardinalate. Created pseudocardinal priest by Antipope Felix V on April 6, 1444 in Genève, with the title of S. Marcello; he declined, and joined the obedience of Pope Nicholas V, who absolved him. Created cardinal priest by Pope Nicholas V in the consistory of December 19, 1449; published the following day; received the title of S. Sabina on January 12, 1450; entered Rome on November 30, 1450; received the red hat the following day; the final ceremonies of his cardinalitial creation took place on December 11, 1450.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Sion, March 1, 1451; the cathedral chapter preferred its dean, Henri Asperlin; a confused situation ensued; and the cardinal resigned the government of the see on September 11, 1454. Consecrated (no information found). Named count of Valais. Attended the secret consistory of October 27, 1451. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, November 1452 to November 5, 1453. Named bishop of Fréjus, June 27, 1453; occupied the see until his death. Participated in the conclave of 1455 which elected Pope Callistus III.

Death. October 28, 1455, Rome. Buried in the chapel of the Rosary in the basilica of S. Sabina, Rome (1).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 122-123; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 4 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 946 and 977; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1932, p. 150; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 11, 30, 31, 64, 155 and 233.

Webgraphy. Biography, in French; and his tomb in the church of S. Sabina, Rome.

(1) This is the text of his epitaph taken from Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, 977:

Hugonis Guiliermus eram consltus utroque
Iure, sed è Stagno Virdunis natus in oris.
Presbyter intactæ titulo præstante Sabinæ
Inter Cardineos donatus denique Patres.

Obiit Anno MCCCCLV. Die Octobr. xxviii.

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(24) 5. VITELLESCHI, Bartolomeo (?-1463)

Birth. (No date found), Corneto. Nephew of Cardinal Giovanni Vitelleschi (1437).

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Protonotary apostolic.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Corneto e Montefiascone, March 17, 1438. Consecrated (no information found). His episcopal motto was Este duces. Governor of the Patrimony ca. 1439. Participated in the Council of Basel. Deposed as bishop of Corneto e Montefiascone by Pope Eugenius IV on March 23, 1442.

Cardinalate. Created pseudocardinal priest in the consistory of April 6, 1444; received the title of S. Marco. Resigned the pseudocardinalate and was absolved of all the censures and named bishop of Carpentras by Pope Nicholas V on July 14, 1449. Named bishop of Corneto e Montefiascone again on July 21, 1449.

Death. December 13, 1463, in Modon (or Methoni), Greece, while in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. His body was taken to Corneto and buried in its cathedral (1).

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 4 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 946-947; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1932, p. 146; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 10, 119, no. 1; 119, and 137-138.

Webgraphy. Vitelleschi by Giovanni Battista Picotti, in Italian, Enciclopedia Italiana, Treccani; his tombstone (1463), diocese of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia, Beni Ecclesiastici in Web (BeWeb); his arms and motto, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) This is the text of his epitaph taken from Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, col. 947:

D. O. M.
SEPVLCHRVM REVERENDI IN CHRISTO PATRIS
D. BARTOLOMAEI DE CORNETO
EPISCOPI CORNETANI ET MONTISFLASCONIS
NEPOTIS SVPRA SEPVLTI CARDINALIS
OBIIT ANNO MCCCLXIII.
MODONI PERGENSEX HIERVSALEM.

There are some differences between the inscription provided by Chacón and the one given by the site Beni Ecclesiastici in Web (BeWeb), which follows:

Sepulcrum Reverendi Christo pa
tris Bartholomei de Vitellensi
bus domo Corneto episcopi corn
etani et Montiflasconis nepoti
s supra sepulti cardinalis obi
it anno MCCCCLXII decembris XI
II Modonis peregrinus ex Jerus
alem

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(24) 6. COURCELLES, Thomas de (1400-1469)

Birth. 1400 (1), village of Ayencourt, near Montdidier, diocese of Amiens, France. Of a noble family from Picardy.

Education. He obtained the degree of bachelier formé in theology at La Sorbonne University, Paris; on January 25, 1432, Guillaume Erart presided at Paris over the examination for the licentiate, when Courcelles received the first rank; much later, he obtained a doctorate in theology.

Early life. Rector of the University of Paris in 1430; he went in this capacity to the papal court; he was sent to Arras, where he spoke for peace in 1435. Besides, he was successively sent either by the University of Paris or by the king of France to the councils or the assemblies of Basel, of Bourges, of Prague, and of Rome. He had a notable although secondary role in the trial of Jeanne d'Arc, the Maid of Orléans, future saint (2). Canon of the cathedral chapters of Amiens, Laon, Térouane and of several collegiate churches.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Created pseudocardinal priest in the consistory of April 6, 1444; he declined the promotion (3). In August 1447, he was in Lyon as one of the ambassadors who were negotiating for the resignation of Antipope Felix V; Gérard Machet, confessor of Charles VII, future cardinal, wrote on April 8, 1448, that Canon Courcelles had been entrusted with the pope's verbal commissions; he went to Rome to be near Pope Nicholas V and was named papal archdeacon. In 1447, and following years, he formed part of the embassy for ending the papal schism. In 1450, was named curate of Saint-André-des-Arts; then canon and penitentiary of the cathedral chapter of Paris; and finally, its dean in 1458. The following year, 1459, Charles VIl delegated him, with Jean Bernard, archbishop of Tours, to represent him at the Congress of Mantua. Provisor of La Sorbonne University, Paris. In 1461, he delivered the funeral oration in the obsequies of King Charles VII in the church of Saint-Denis. Also in 1461, Pope Pius II delegated him, together with Guillaum Chartier, bishop of Paris, to proceed to the reform the Order of Fontevrault.

Death. Monday October 23, 1469, Paris. Buried in the chapel of Saint-Martin et Sainte-Anne in the cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris (4). His brother, Jean de Courcelles, funded an anniversary for the repose of his own soul and that of his brother, Master Thomas, and the chapter committed itself to accept this foundation by deliberation of September 16, 1469, one month before the death of Thomas de Courcelles.

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 4 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 947-948; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1932, p. 146; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, p. 10.

Webgraphy. Biography, in English; and biography, in French, pp. 36-38.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932, p. 146; and his biography in French, linked above; his biography in English, also linked above, says that he was born in 1393.
(2) According to his biography in French, linked above: He was one of the men on whom Pierre Cauchon, bishop of Beauvais, who dominated the university by his influence, placed his eyes to serve as assessor to him and to be instrumental in the process against Jeanne d'Arc. According to Eneas Silvio Piccolomini, future Pope Pius II, he had an ardent and inexorable passion concerning the case. The English government paid the judges wages of 20 pennies or a frank per day. Thomas de Courcelles and Nicolas Midi were the two doctors who distinguished themselves by their assiduity to earn this remuneration, and to absorbe the largest share of it. Thomas involved himself in all the acts of the procedure, from the first to the last. It was he who brought to Jeanne d'Arc the bill of indictment, who translated from French into Latin the substance of the procedure, who was, finally, the hand and the voice of Bishop Cauchon. More important than all of this, he voted, on May 12, 1431, that Jeanne be put to torture. At the time of the deliberation of the final sentence, the abbot of Fécamp, called to give his vote, expressed himself as follows: "We are of the opinion to declare Jeanne heretic, and to give up her to the secular justice, and to request it to treat Jeanne with kindness." Thomas de Courcelles declared to opine "like Monseigneur de Fécamp; and added that Jeanne be again charitably admonished about the health of her soul and that she be informed that she does not have anything more to hope for her temporal life." Thomas attended the reading of the sentence which took place in the Vieux-Marché, and stated later, to have withdrawn at the time when the Maid started to be burned. After her death, Thomas gave, on June 8, 1431, his testimony with the additional instruction consigned following the process of condemnation, which the notaries of the cause refused to validate of their certificate. In 1456, cited to depose in the process of rehabilitation, he did not testify to any repentance and did not try any honest excuse of his conduct. But he used a system of defense consisting in denying certain proven facts, declaring that he had forgotten things that remained written, asserting interpretations and mental reservations, and finally, charging his colleagues or accomplices; later, during the final editing of that document, he suppressed his name wherever it had figured in the French minutes; he tried to give the impression that he had taken little part in the trial, which was false; but he was certainly less of a fanatic than Bishop Cauchon and Guillaume Erart, one of the most passionate judges in the process against Jeanne d'Arc.
(3) His biography in French, linked above, says that he declined the promotion in 1440 because of his humility.
(4) This is the inscription on his tomb taken from his biography in French, linked above: Ici-gît un homme d'une haute science et d'une grande éloquence, maître Thomas de Courcelles, professeur d'Écriture-Sainte, doyen et chanoine de cette Église insigne, qui mourut l'an du Seigneur 1469, à l'âge de 69 ans.

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