The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Leo X (1513-1521)
Consistory of May 28, 1518 (VII)


(41) 1. LORRAINE, Jean de (1498-1550)

Birth. April 9, 1498 (1), Bar-le-Duc, France. Six child of René II, duke of Lorraine, and his second wife, Philippe de Gueldre et de Egmont. Brother of Claude de Lorraine, first duke of Guise. He was the first cardinal of Lorraine. Uncle of Cardinals Charles I de Guise de Lorraine (1547); and Louis I de Guise de Lorraine (1553). Grand-uncle of Cardinal Louis II de Guise (1578). Great-grand-uncle of Cardinals Charles III de Lorraine-Vaudémont (1589) and Louis III de Guise (1615).

Education. Studied with private tutors. (No further educational information found).

Early life. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Liège, 1500.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Named bishop of Metz, July 26, 1501, when his grand-uncle Henri de Lorraine-Vaudemont resigned the see in his favor and became its administrator until Jean would turn 20 years old and bishop until turning 27; he received the bulls from Pope Alexander VI on November 3, 1501; his uncle died on October 20, 1505; elected administrator by the cathedral chapter after the death of Bishop Henri; occupied the see until his death; his nephew, Charles de Guise-Lorraine, was named coadjutor, with right of succession, November 16, 1547. Abbot commendatario of the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Gorgonio, Metz, January 1, 1511. Abbot commendatario of Gorze in his youth; resigned in favor of his nephew Nicolas de Lorraine. Administrator of the see of Toul, October 19, 1517; occupied the post until February 12, 1524. He was created cardinal at the request of the king of France and the duke of Urbino.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of May 28, 1518; received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Onofrio, January 7, 1519. Administrator of the see of Valence et Die, April 26, 1521; postulated by the cathedral chapter at the request of King François I; resigned the post, January 11, 1523 (2). Did not participate in the conclave of 1521-1522, which elected Pope Adrian VI. Administrator of the see of Terouanne, January 7, 1522 (3); resigned the post, November 8, 1535. Participated in the conclave of 1523, which elected Pope Clement VII. Administrator of the see of Verdun, December 9, 1523; resigned the post in favor of his nephew Nicolas de Lorraine, June 4, 1544. Administrator of the see of Luçon, December 14, 1523; postulated by the cathedral chapter and nominated by the king of France; resigned the post, January 11, 1524. Abbot commendatario of Fécamp from 1523. Administrator of the metropolitan see of Narbonne, January 11, 1524; occupied the post until his death. First abbot commendatario of Cluny, February 14, 1529. Administrator of the metropolitan see of Reims, November 16, 1532; resigned the post in favor of his nephew Charles I de Guise de Lorraine, February 6, 1538. Abbot commendatario of Saint-Jean de Laon, 1533-1535. Participated in the conclave of 1534, which elected Pope Paul III. Papal legate to the bishoprics of Metz, Toul and Verdun, 1534. Administrator of the see of Alby, August 6, 1535; occupied the post until his death. Abbot commendatario of Saint-Germer, 1536-1538. Abbot commendatario of Saint-Médard de Soissons; resigned in 1540. Administrator of the metropolitan see of Lyon, June 20, 1537; resigned the post in favor of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, October 29, 1539. Sent by King François I of France before Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to conclude the peace treaty between them, after August 1537. Administrator of the see of Agen, May 24, 1538; occupied the post until his death. First abbot commendatario of Marmoutiers, 1539 until his death. Since his ecclesiastical benefices assured him considerable revenues, he resigned his patrimonial succession in favor of his brother Antoine, duke of Lorraine, on August 14, 1540. Administrator of the see of Nantes, August 18, 1542; occupied the post until his death. Participated in the conclave of 1549-1550, which elected Pope Julius III. Abbot commendatario of Gorre, Saint-Ouen de Rouen; Saint Mansuy de Tould. He was a councilor and minister of state of King François I of France and was charged with several diplomatic missions but toward the end of the monarch's reign, the cardinal fell from favor and went to live in Rome. Minister of state of King Henri II of France. Legate a latere in Lorraine. Dispensed from residence, the cardinal governed his sees through vicars general and suffragan bishops, a practice that was very detrimental to the ecclesiastical discipline. He was a patron of intellectuals, writers, and artists, such as Desiderius Erasmus, Clément Marot, and Benvenuto Cellini. His generosity towards the poor was legendary (4).

Death. May 10 (5), 1550, castle of Neuvy-sur-Loire (6), duchy of Nivers (7), of an apoplexy at the dining table; while returning from Italy. Taken to Joinville, his body was buried in the collegial church of Saint-Laurent; three weeks later, it was transferred to Nancy and buried in the church of the convent of the Cordeliers (Franciscans) of that city, next to his father, as he had requested; the burial, ordered by Christine of Denmark and Nicolas de Vaudemont, regent of the duchy of Lorraine during the minority of Duke Charles II, was celebrated with great pomp.

Bibliography. Berton, Charles. Dictionnaire des cardinaux, contenant des notions générales sur le cardinalat, la nomenclature complète ..., des cardinaux de tous less 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, cols. 1104-1105; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, IV, 74-76; "Le Cardinal Jean de Lorraine: un prélat de la Renaissance mécène de la musique," in Le Mécénat et l'influence des Guise. Actes du Colloque organisé par Centre de recherche sur la littirature de la renaissanace de l'Université de Reims, Joinville, May 31-June 4, 1994. Edited by Yvonne Bellenger. Paris : H. Champion, 1997. (Colloques, congrès et conférences sur la Renaissance ; IX), pp. 161-73; 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. 1430-1431; Collignon, Albert. Le mécénat du Cardinal Jean de Lorraine (1498-1550). Paris : Berger-Levrault, 1910. (Annales de l'Est ; 24e année, fasc. 2); Du Boullay, Emond. Le catholicque enterrement de feu Monsieur le ... Cardinal Lorraine ... A Paris : Par Iehan d'Allier, sur le pot Sainct Michel, à la Rose Blanche, et par Lazare Grenet sur ledict pont Sainct Michel, à la Salmandre, 1550.; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 18, 75, 98, 101, 230, 242, 250-251, 253, 321, 326, 335; 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. Contents: [v.1-5] Métropole d'Aix -- [v.6-7] Métropole d'Avignon -- [v.8] Métropole de Bordeaux -- [v.9] Métropole de Cambrai -- [v.10] Métropole de Lyon et Vienne -- [v.11-13] Métropole de Paris -- [v.14-15] Métropole de Reims -- [v.16-19] Métropole de Rouen -- [v.20-21] Métropole de Sens. Other Title: Gallia Christiana, X, 383-386.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, pp. 383-386, in French; his genealogy 2. A. i. a. (1) (A) (ii) (a) ((1)) ((A)) ((iii)); The House of Guise, the cardinal's biographical entry is the second one; another genealogy, A1 B1 C1 D6; Le Mécénat du Cardinal Jean de Lorraine. Esquisse biographique, in French; his portrait by an anonymous artist, Musée des Arts et de l'Enfance, Fécamp, France; his effigy on a medal; Les évêques de Verdun, in French.

(1) This is according to his biography in English and his second genealogy, both linked above; Le Mécénat du Cardinal Jean de Lorraine, also linked above, on p. 11, says that he was born on August 14, 1498.
(2) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, III, 236, probably following the French vieux style; and the correct date should be a year later.
(3) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, III, 250, probably following the French vieux style and the correct date should be a year later.
(4) According to Bertone, Dictionnaire des cardinaux, col. 1105, a beggar, after receiving a considerable alm from the cardinal, asked him: "Are you the Christ or the Cardinal de Lorraine?"
(5) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, III, 18; and Le Mécénat du Cardinal Jean de Lorraine, p. 29, linked above; his biography in English; his biographical data in "The House of Guise"; and his second genealogy, all linked above, say that he died on May 18, 1550; his biography in French, p. 385, linked above, says that according to the Vatican registries he died on May 10, 1550 and adds that historian Jacques de Thou gives the same date but that several other authors, which are not mentioned, fix the date on May 6 or May 18.
(6) This is according to his biography in French, p. 385, linked above; it adds that others say that he died in Nevers or in Nogent-le-Roi.
(7) This is according to Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, IV, 76; his biography in English, linked above, says that he died in Nogent sur Yonne; his second genealogy, linked above, says that he died in Neuvy-sur-Loire; and Le Mécénat du Cardinal Jean de Lorraine, also linked above, on p. 28, note 3, says that he died in Nogent-sur-Vernisson, near Montargis, department of Loiret, and mentions the locations other historians give as the place of the cardinal's death.

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