The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Papal elections of the 11th Century (1061-1099)

1061 1061 1073 1080 1086 1088 1099 Conclaves Catalogs Home Search


The decree In Nomine Domine, issued by Pope Nicholas II in the Lateran Synod, on April 13 (12?), 1059, established that the pope should be elected by the cardinal-bishops. The rest of the clergy and the laity of Rome had the right to acclaim the election. The pope should normally be a member of the Roman clergy, but in case of necessity he could come from outside Rome. The election, if possible, was to be held at Rome; but if necessary, it could be held elsewhere. Imperial control was limited to a personal right granted by the pope to confirm papal elections. The election, without any further formality, conferred full pontifical power on the elected. From then on, the date of the election marked the beginning of the pontificate.

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Election of September 30, 1061
(Alexander II)

Pope Nicholas II died in Florence on July 27, 1061. Bishop Anselmo da Baggio of Lucca, not a cardinal, was elected his successor on September 30, 1061, in the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, and took the name Alexander II. He was enthroned in the Lateran the following day. No information has been found about the participants in the election but it is assumed that the disposition of Nicholas II giving only the cardinal bishops the right to elect the new pontiff was followed. Below, the names of the cardinal bishops at the time of the death of Pope Nicholas.

-Giovanni, bishop of Porto.
-Bonifazio, bishop of Albano.
-Giovanni, bishop of Tivoli.
-Humbert, O.S.B., bishop of Silva Candida (1).
-Giovanni, bishop of Sabina.
-Pietro, bishop of Labico.
-Pietro Damiano, O.S.B.Cam., bishop of Ostia.
-Gilberto, bishop of Labico.
-Bruno, bishop of Palestrina.
-Gregorio, suburbicarian see not known (Velletri ?).
-Bonifazio, bishop of Gabio.

(1) Some sources indicate that he died on May 4, 1061, and, therefore, he could not have participated in the election of Pope Alexander II on September 30, 1061. Others indicate that he died during the pontificate of Pope Gregory VII. Very probably, it was Cardinal Mainardo, O.S.B.Cas. (1049), his successor as bishop of Silva Candida, who participated in this conclave.

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Election of October 28, 1061
(Antipope Honorius II)

When Pope Nicholas II died on July 27, 1061, Roman nobles and a group of Lombard bishops led by Wibert of Parma (or Guibert), royal chancellor for Italy, went to the German court and asked Empress Agnes, mother and regent of young King Henry V, to nominate Bishop Pietro Cadalo of Parma, who was not a cardinal, as successor of Pope Nicholas. Cadalo's principal supporters were Bishops Dionisio of Piacenza and Gregorio of Vercelli. To give the appearance of a canonical election, a synod was convoked at Basle in which Bishop Cadalo was elected by a miscellaneous assembly on October 28, 1061. There were no cardinals present in the synod and a good number of archbishops and bishops opposed the election. The new antipope took the name Honorius II. He was anathematized in May 1064 by the Synod of Mantua, which recognized Alexander II as legitimate Pope. Honorius returned to Parma and remained its bishop until his death towards the end of 1071 or the beginning of 1072. He never abandoned his claim to the papacy.

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Election of April 22, 1073
(Gregory VII)

Pope Alexander II died on April 21, 1073. The day after, the clergy and the people acclaimed as pope Cardinal Ildebrando, deacon of S. Maria in Domnica, archdeacon of the Holy Roman Church. The cardinals gathered in the Roman church of S. Pietro in Vincoli elected him. He took the name Gregory VII. Below, the names of the cardinal bishops at the time of the death of Pope Alexander.

-Humbert, O.S.B., bishop of Silva Candida (1).
-Ubaldo, bishop of Sabina.
-Giovanni, bishop of Porto.
-Gerhard, O.S.B.Cluny, bishop of Ostia.
-Basilios, bishop of Albano.
-Giovanni, bishop of Frascati.
-Uberto Belmonte, bishop of Palestrina.
-Giovanni, bishop of Labico.

(1) Some sources indicate that he died on May 4, 1061. Others indicate that he died during the pontificate of Pope Gregory VII, in 1073 or 1074. Very probably, it was Cardinal Mainardo, O.S.B.Cas. (1049), his successor as bishop of Silva Candida, who participated in this conclave.

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Election of June 25, 1080
(Antipope Clement III)

The long dispute between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry V, because of the episcopal investitures, culminated with the second excommunication of the monarch on March 7, 1080. As a reaction, Henry convoked a synod of the German bishops in Brixen, Tyrol, in which on June 25, 1080, Gregory was deposed and Wibert (or Guibert), archbishop of Ravenna, former imperial chancellor for Italy, elected to replace him as Clement III. He had been excommunicated by Gregory VII in February 1076 for his part in the meeting of the bishops of Lombardy who tried to depose the pope. He controlled Rome during the pontificate of Victor III and for most of Urban II's. He died on September 8, 1110 in his schism. According to Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, p. 157, Clement "was indirectly responsible for the development of the college of cardinals, for he allowed so much influence to the cardinal priests who came over to his side that Urban II had to treat the ones who supported him with like consideration." This is probably why all the cardinals, not only the cardinal bishops, began to participate on an equal basis in the papal elections.

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Election of May 24, 1086
(Victor III)

Pope Gregory VII died on May 25, 1085, in exile in Salerno. Cardinal Desiderio, O.S.B., of the title of S. Cecilia, abbot of Montecassino, was elected his successor on May 24, 1086 in the deaconry of S. Lucia in Septisolis and took the name Victor III. Four days after his election, unwilling to respond with force to the hostility of the imperial prefect of Rome, Victor put aside his pontifical insignias and retired to Montecassino. After a prolonged resistance to accept the papacy, he finally yielded on March 21, 1087 during the Synod of Capua. He was consecrated in St. Peter's Basilica on May 9, 1087 by the bishops of Ostia, Frascati, Porto and Albano. Below, the names of the cardinal bishops at the time of the death of Pope Gregory.

-Eudes de Lagery, O.S.B.Cluny, bishop of Ostia and administrator of Velletri, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals.
-Ubaldo, bishop of Sabina.
-Giovanni, bishop of Porto.
-Pietro Igneo Aldobrandini, O.S.B.Vall., bishop of Albano.
-Giovanni Minuto, bishop of Labico (Frascati).

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Election of March 12, 1088
(Urban II)

Pope Victor III died on September 16, 1087. Cardinal Eudes de Lagery, O.S.B.Clun., bishop of Ostia and administrator of Velletri, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, was elected his successor on March 12, 1088, in Terracina, because Rome was under the control of Antipope Clement III. He took the name Urban II. This is how Horace K. Mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Middle Ages. The Popes of the Gregorian Renaissance, St. Leo IX. to Honorius II., 1049-1130, vol. VII 1073-1099, pp. 256-257, narrated the election: "... on the 9th of March 1088, there assembled in the Church of Ss. Peter and Cæsarius, attached to the palace of the bishop of Terracina, some forty bishops and abbots, Benedict, the papal prefect of Rome, and a certain number of representatives of the ultramontane bishops and of the Countess Matilda. After the wishes of Popes Gregory and Victor as to their successors had been made known to the assembly, the usual three days of fasting and prayer were proclaimed, and the meeting adjourned till Sunday. On that day, when the prelates were again gathered together in the same church, the bishops of Tusculum, Porto and Albano mounted the ambo together, and together proposed that Otho, bishop of Ostia, should be elected. Mindful of the wishes of the two late popes, and attracted by his amiable character, his ability, and his fine tall figure, the whole assembly, "with wonderful and complete accord, and with loud voice", signified its assent. Then, no sooner had the bishop of Albano announced that the new pope wished to be called Urban, than all rose to their feet, crowded round the object of their choice, stripped him of his mantle of wool (cappa lanea), clothed him in purple, and with acclamations of joy and invocations of the Holy Ghost hurried him to the altar of Blessed Peter the apostle, and placed him on the pontifical throne. Nor did the assembly break up till after Urban had said Mass, and had been duly installed (March 12, 1088)." According to Hans Walter Klewitz Reformpapsttum und Kardinalkolleg. Die Entstehung des Kardinalkollegiums. Studien über die Wiederherstellung der römischen Kirche in Süditalien durch das Reformpapsttum. Das Ende des Reformpapsttums (Darmstadt : Hermann Gentner Verlag, 1957), p. 88, citing contemporary account in codex Udalrici, in addition to the cardinal-bishops, in the election participated also the single representatives of the orders of cardinal-priests and cardinal-deacons. Klewitz, p. 39, says that this list was taken from the letter of Pope Urban II to abbot Hugo of Cluny, in which he had announced his election to the papacy.

-Eudes de Lagery, O.S.B.Clun., bishop of Ostia and administrator of Velletri, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. (Elected Pope Urban II)
-Ubaldo, bishop of Sabina.
-Giovanni, bishop of Porto.
-Pietro Igneo Aldobrandini, O.S.B.Vall., bishop of Albano.
-Giovanni Minuto, bishop of Labico (Frascati).
-Bruno, bishop of Segni (1).
-Raniero, O.S.B.Clun. (unknown title) - for all cardinal-priests.
-Oderisio, O.S.B.Cas., abbot of Montecassino, deacon of S. Agata in Suburra - for all cardinal-deacons.

(1) According to Klewitz, Reformpapsttum und Kardinalkollegp. 38, the bishop of Segni appears for the first time as cardinal-bishop under Pope Gregory VII in May 1082.

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Election of August 10 to 14, 1099
(Paschal II)

Pope Urban II died on July 29, 1099. Cardinal Raniero, O.S.B.Clun., was elected to succeed him on August 13, 1099 and took the name Paschal II. According to Horace K. Mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Middle Ages. The Popes of the Gregorian Renaissance, St. Leo IX. to Honorius II., 1049-1130, vol. VIII 1009-1130, pp. 8 and 11, the electors were "the cardinals and bishops, the deacons and the chief men (primores) of the city, the primiscrinii (secretaries), and the regionary scribes." The new pope was consecrated the day after his election by the bishops of Ostia, Porto, and Albano, assisted by other bishops.

-Odon de Châtillon, O.S.B.Clun., bishop of Ostia.
-Gualterio, bishop of Albano.
-Maurizio, bishop of Porto.
-Bovo, bishop of Labico.
-Milon, bishop of Palestrina.
-Offo, bishop of Nepi.

Note. The only absentee was Cardinal Bruno, bishop of Segni.

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