The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pius II (1458-1464)
Consistory of May 31, 1462 (III)
Celebrated in Viterbo


(1) 1. EYCH, Johann von (a. 1404-1464)

Birth. Ca. 1404, Thüringen. Of a noble family. Son of Karl von Eych and Margaretha von Heitburg. Two of his relatives were canons of the cathedral chapter of Eichstätt. His first name is also listed as Johannes and his last name Aych.

Education. Studied at the University of Vienna from 1423; and completed his studies at the University of Padua from 1429 (obtained doctorates in Holy Scriptures and canon law).

Early life. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Eichstätt, 1430. Rector in Padua, 1433 to 1434. Dean of the faculty of law at the University of Vienna, 1435; and again 1437-1438; its provost from 1441. Vicar general of the diocese of Eichstätt, 1435; and later, chantre of its cathedral chapter. Served in the court of Dukes Albrecht V and Albrecht VI of Austria; from 1438 to 1439, he was one of the delegates of Duke Albrecht II to the Council of Basilea; he delivered a discourse on January 2, 1439; while at the council, he came into intensive contact with the culture of the Renaissance, which shaped him for the rest of his life; he corresponded with several distinguished ecclesiastics such as Johannes von Capestrano, Nikolaus von Kues, Jakob von Tueckelhausen, and Bernhard von Waging; and maintained connections with representatives of the upper-German humanism such as Ulrich Gossembrot; Canon Eych's literary works are only partially kept; Enea Silvio Piccolomini, future Pope Pius II, dedicated to his friend of like mind his work "De miseria curialium". In the dispute with Pope Eugenius IV, he maintained the neutral policy of the king. Chancellor of Holy Roman Emperor Albrecht II. After the battle of San Giacomo sulla Birsa in 1444, he was the envoy of King Friedrich III before the French dauphin, future King Louis XI.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Eichstätt by the cathedral chapter, October 1, 1445; confirmed by Dietrich Schenk von Erbach, archbishop of Mainza, October 1445. Consecrated, March 13, 1446, by Peter von Schaumberg, bishop of Augsburg. He was a conscientious reformer of his clergy, applying several of the decrees of the Council of Basle. He facilitated the conversion of the cathedral school into the Bavarian national university at Ingolstadt. Celebrated a diocesan synod and iussed its decrees in 1447. He was very charitable with the poor.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of May 31, 1462 in Viterbo (1); never received the red hat and the title.

Death. January 1, 1464, after a long illness, Eichstätt. Buried in the chapel of Sankt Alexius, which he had founded in the cloister of the monastery of Sankt Walburg Eichstätt.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 157; 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. 1068; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VIII. Les cardinaux du XVIe siècle. Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1933. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1933, p. 138; 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. 13 and 152; Schmid, Alois. "Eych, Johann von." Die Bischöfe des Heiligen Römischen Reiches, 1448 bis 1648 : ein biographisches Lexikon. Herausgegeben von Erwin Gatz, unter Mitwirkung von Clemens Brodkorb. Berlin : Duncker & Humblot, 1996, pp. 173-174.

Links. Biography, in Italian; and his engraving, library of the diocese of Eichstät, Germany.

(1) This is according to Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, III, 157; Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, col. 1068; and Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, II, 13; Ludwig von Pastor, The history of the popes: from the close of the Middle Ages, drawn from the secret archives of the Vatican and other original sources (St. Louis, MO : Herder, 1923-1953, 40 vols.), III, 286, indicates that they are erroneous because no document exists reporting this creation; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VIII. Les cardinaux du XVIe siècle", Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1933, 138, after giving the biographical data of this prelate, agrees with Pastor and says that the creation should be disregarded.

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