CHAPTER VI
Urban V 1362-70

THE pontificates of Clement VI and Innocent VI had each in turn had the effect of concentrating a Limousin party at the court of Avignon. Naturally this party's one ambition was to keep for as long as possible the advantages they had hitherto enjoyed, and their chief interest was to support the candidature of one of their number for the triple crown. On the other hand, the personal ambition of Cardinal Guy de Boulogne and of Cardinal Talleyrand de Périgord prevented any unity from developing among those who did not belong to this party. The conclave, which began on 22 September 1362, threatened to be a restless and stormy one. Some of the cardinals, not knowing which party to join, thought they would delay the election by voting without consulting each other and so wasting their votes. The votes thus made without any previous agreement were all for Hugues Roger, the brother of the late Pope Clement VI. To the surprise of everyone, when the result of the ballot was announced, Hugues Roger was found to have been elected by fifteen votes out of twenty.

This election displeased everyone, but their anxiety disappeared when, through humility and fear of the burden placed upon him, Hugues made it clear that he refused to accept office. The cardinals, determined to be prudent after this mishap, distributed their votes so carefully that it seemed impossible to agree on the name of any one among them. Consequently the only course that remained was to choose a prelate from outside the Sacred College. On 28 September, Guillaume de Grimoard, abbot of St Victor of Marseilles and at that time nuncio in the kingdom of Naples, was unanimously elected.1

____________________
1
See Matteo Villani, Istoria fiorentine, Bk XI, ch. xxvi; Baluze, Vitae, VOL. II, p. 356. Guillaume was born in 1310 at the castle of Grisac (Lozère), the son of Guillaume de Grimoard, lord of Grisac, Bédouès, Bellegarde, Montbel and Grasvillar, and of Amphélise de Montferrand. He received the tonsure at the age of twelve and went to study at Montpellier and Toulouse. After qualifying in civil law, he entered the Benedictine priory at Chirac. He was professed at the abbey of St Victor at Marseilles, then returned to Chirac and attended lectures at the Universities of Toulouse, Montpellier, Avignon and Paris. He received his doctorate on 31 October 1342 and taught canon law in various universities. His success attracted attention and earned him the charge of vicar-general to Pierre d'Aigrefeuille at Clermont and Uzès, and the titles of abbot of St Germain of Auxerre on 13 February 1352 and of St Victor of Marseilles on 2 August 1361, as well as several legations in Italy, in 1352, 1354, 1360 and 1362.

-52-

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