The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement VII (1523-1534)
Consistory of January 10, 1529 (VI)


(17) 1. MEDICI, Ippolito de' (1511-1535)

Birth. April 19, 1511, Florence. He was an illegitimate son of Giuliano de' Medici, the Magnificent, duke of Nemours, and Pacifica Brandano. Cousin of Pope Clement VII.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Together with his cousin Alessandro de' Medici and Cardinal Silvio Passerini, he ruled Florence in the name of Pope Clement VII, head of the family, July 30, 1524 until May 16, 1527. In 1531, the pope named Alessandro head of the Florentine republic. He had an illegitimate son, Asdrubale.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Avignon, with dispensation for not having yet reached the canonical age; constituted administrator, January 10, 1529; occupied the see until his death. Consecrated (no information found).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of January 10, 1529; received the red hat and the title of S. Prassede, January 10, 1529. Legate in Perugia, May 3, 1529. Legate in Genoa, 1529. Abbot commendatario of S. Anastasio alle Tre Fontane. Administrator of the see of Casale Monferrato, November 15, 1529 until March 6, 1531. Vice-chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, July 3, 1532 until his death. Opted for the title of S. Lorenzo in Damaso (1), July 3, 1532. Administrator of the metropolitan see of Monreale, July 26, 1532 until his death. Legate in Germany, 1533. Administrator of the see of Lecce, April 20, 1534 until February 26, 1535. Legate in Marche, September 1534. Participated in the conclave of 1534, which elected Pope Paul III.

Death. August 10 (2), 1535, Itri, probably of malaria (3), on his way to bring Holy Roman Emperor Charles V the grievances of the Florentines against Alessandro de' Medici, head of the republic. Transferred to Rome and buried in the basilica of S. Lorenzo in Damaso.

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, col. 1230-1231; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, IV, 107-112; 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. 1471-1472; 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, 20, 64, 69, 126-127, 155, 224 and 250; Hicks Beach, William. A cardinal of the Medici : being the memoirs of the nameless mother of the Cardinal Ippolito de Medici. New York : Macmillan ; Cambridge, Eng. : The University Press, 1937; Roggeri, Roggero ; Ventura, Leandro. I Gonzaga delle nebbie: storia di una dinastia cadetta nelle terre tra Oglio e Po. Cinisello Balsamo, Milano : Silvana, 2008, p. 102.

Webgraphy. La morte di Ippolito de' Medici: nuovi documenti dall'Archivio Gonzaga, in Italian, Edizioni Res; his portrait with Monsignor Mario Bracci, attributed to Girolamo Carpi, The National Gallery, London; his portrait, Rettorato, Stanza 14, University of Bologna, Bologna; and another portrait by Titian, CGFA.

(1) On July 5, 1532, Pope Clement VII issued the constitution Etsi ad singula, by which the title of S. Lorenzo in Damaso was assigned in perpetuity to the vice-chancellor of the Holy Roman Church. The disposition was confirmed by Sixtus V (1585-1590) in his constitution Religiosa, April 13, 1587. Later on, St. Pius X by the constitution Sapienti Consilio, June 29, 1908, changed the title of the office to Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church and kept the same title for its occupant. By the motu proprio Quo aptius, February 27, 1973, Paul VI (1963-1978) suppressed the office of the Apostolic Chancery of the Holy Roman Church (originated in the 4th century) and transferred its functions to the secretariat of state.
(2) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, III, 20 and 64; the same source, III, 127, says that he died on August 13, 1535.
(3) His biographical data, linked above, says that he may have been poisoned by Alessandro de' Medici's orders.

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