The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement VII (1523-1534)
Consistory of June 8, 1530 (IX)


(24) 1. GRAMONT, Gabriel de (1486-1534)

Birth. 1486, Gascony. Son of Roger de Gramont, signeur of Bidache, and Eléonore de Béarn. His brother Charles de Gramont, O.S.A., was archbishop of Bordeaux. His last name is also listed as Grammont, Gradmont, Gradimonte, Agramonte, Acromonte and Acramonte.

Education. "... perito in ogni genere di letteratura, e assai sperimentato nei maneggio degli affari politici, ne' quali segnalatamente si distinse ..." (expert in each kind of literature, and very experienced in the conduction of political affairs, in which he markedly distinguished himself) (1).

Early life. He dedicated himself to the ecclesiastical life at a young age.

Sacred orders. He received the diaconate.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Couserans (or S. Lizier), April 28, 1523. Consecrated (no information found). Transferred to the see of Tarbes, September 19, 1524; occupied the see until his death. Maître des suppliques of King François I of France. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Bordeaux. One of the French ambassadors that the queen regent sent to Spain in 1525 to obtain the freedom of King François I of France. The following year, he returned to Spain and Emperor Charles V arrested him in reprisal for the league formed by the French king and King Henry VIII of England; when the imperial ambassadors to the courts of France and England were also arrested, the Emperor released Bishop Gramont. He returned to France and in 1526, he was sent as French ambassador to England to secretly try to break the marriage of the English king and Catalina of Aragón and propose to him the hand of Marguerite d' Orléans, widow of Duke Charles d'Alençon. French ambassador to Rome to obtain from the pope the temporary exemption from the clause of the concordat which excluded from the royal nomination the benefices already in possession of particular privileges. Elected archbishop of Bordeaux by its cathedral chapter, July 14, 1529; confirmed by the pope, September 24, 1529; resigned the government of the see in favor of his brother Charles, March 9, 1530. Nuncio extraordinary to France, December 1529.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of June 8, 1530; received the red hat and the title of S. Giovanni a Porta Latina, June 22, 1530. Opted for the title of S. Cecilia, January 9, 1531. Named bishop of Poitiers by the king of France, January 13, 1532; occupied the see until his death. In 1533, he negotiated the marriage of the duke of Orléans, future King Henri II of France, with Catalina de' Medici, niece of Pope Clement VII; in this occasion he engaged the pope to go to Marseille to meet the king of France on August 1, 1533. Named archbishop of Toulouse, October 17, 1533; occupied the see until his death.

Death. March 26, 1534, of a fièvre lente (intestinal fever), in the château of Balma, near Toulouse (2). Transferred to Bidache and buried in its church in the tomb of his ancestors.

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. 1029-1030; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, IV, 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. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1630, II, col. 1476; 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, 21, 61, 64, 142, 176, 273-274, 309 and 315.

Links. Biographical data, in French; Principality of Bidache, in French; Duchy of Gramont, in French; Le château de Gramont à Bidache, in French; photos of the château de Gramont.

(1) Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, IV, 122.
(2) According to Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, col. 1476, Nicolao Ægidio indicated that the cardinal died in 1534 during his legation to Spain; he adds that other writers, which he does not mention by name, say that the cardinal died on May 16, 1554 in Castle Albaine, near Toulouse.

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