Papal election, 1185

Papal election, 1185

The papal election of November 25 1185 was a papal election convoked after the death of Pope Lucius III. It resulted in the election of Cardinal Uberto Crivelli of Milan, who took the name of Urban III.

List of participants

According to the very old work of Alfonso Chacón (died 1599) "Vitae et res gestae Pontificum Romanorum et S.R.E. Cardinalium", I, cols., 1123-1124, there were 35 cardinals in the Sacred College in November 1185, of whom 27 participated in the election of the successor of Lucius III, [ [ F. Bourkle-Young: notes to the papal election of 1185] ] but more recent sources have reduced these numbers to 26 and 11 respectively [I.S. Robinson, p. 44 and 86] . Basing on the countersigning of the first papal bulls of the pontificate of Urban III [Jaffé Philipp, "Regesta...", p. 854-855 ] the list of his electors is reconstructed as follows:

Seven electors were created by Pope Lucius III, three by Pope Alexander III and one by Pope Adrian IV.

Absentee cardinals

Probably as many as 15 out of 26 cardinals were absent:

Six absentees were created by Lucius III, six by Alexander III, two by Adrian IV and one by Pope Lucius II.

Death of Lucius III and the election of Pope Urban III

Pope Lucius III died at Verona on November 25 1185 at the age of 88. On that same day, eleven cardinals present on his deathbed started proceedings to elect his successor. Eight of them came from Northern Italy and formed a radically anti-imperial faction, while more moderate cardinals (so-called "Roman faction", because most of them were Romans) were absent, as was their leader Alberto di Morra of Benevento, papal chancellor. [I.S.Robinson, p. 86] In such circumstances, Northern Italian cardinals quickly secured the election of their candidate Uberto Crivelli of Milan. He was unanimously elected within a few hours after the death of Lucius III, and took the name of Urban III. [I.S.Robinson, p. 86] He was crowned at Verona on December 1 1185. After his election to the papacy, he retained the administration of the metropolitan see of Milan. [ [ The Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Urban III] ]



* [ F. Bourkle-Young: notes to the papal election of 1185]
*Ian Stuart Robinson, The Papacy, 1073-1198: Continuity and Innovation, Cambridge 1990
*Jaffé Philipp, "Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita Ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII", Berlin 1851

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