1154 papal election

The 1154 papal election followed the death of Pope Anastasius IV and resulted in the election of Pope Adrian IV, the only Englishman to become pope.

Papal election
Dates and location
4 December 1154
Vatican Basilica, Rome
Key officials
DeanImar of Tusculum
ProtopriestGuido Florentinus
ProtodeaconOdone Bonecase
Elected pope
Nicholas Breakspear
Name taken: Adrian IV
Adrian IV, servus servorum dei (cropped).png
← 1153
1159 →

Election of Adrian IVEdit

Pope Anastasius IV died on 3 December 1154 in Rome, at a very advanced age. The College of Cardinals assembled in the Vatican Basilica on the next day to elect his successor. On 4 December 1154 the cardinals unanimously elected Cardinal-Bishop of Albano Nicholas Breakspeare, former legate in Scandinavia (1152–1153).[1] He took the name Adrian IV and was crowned on 5 December 1154 in the Vatican Basilica. He is the only English pope in history.[2]


There were probably 30 cardinals in the Sacred College of Cardinals at the beginning of December 1154,[3] but it seems that no more than 25 (perhaps even fewer) participated in the election:

Elector Cardinalatial Title Elevated Elevator Notes
Imar, O.S.B.Cluny Bishop of Tusculum 13 March 1142 Innocent II Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals
Guarino Foscari, Can.Reg. Bishop of Palestrina 22 December 1144 Lucius II Cardinal-nephew
Nicholas Breakspeare, Can.Reg. Bishop of Albano 16 December 1149 Eugenius III Elected Pope Adrian IV
Hugo, O.Cist. Bishop of Ostia e Velletri 21 December 1151 Eugenius III
Gregorio della Suburra Bishop of Sabina 1 March 1140 Innocent II
Cencio de Gregorio Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina 2 March 1151 Eugenius III
Guido Florentinus Priest of S. Crisogono 1139 Innocent II Protopriest
Ubaldo Allucingoli Priest of S. Prassede 16 December 1138 Innocent II Future Pope Lucius III (1181-1185)
Ottaviano de Monticelli Priest of S. Cecilia 25 February 1138 Innocent II Future Antipope Victor IV (1159-1164)
Manfredo Priest of S. Sabina 17 December 1143 Celestine II
Ariberto Priest of S. Anastasia 17 December 1143 Celestine II
Astaldo degli Astalli Priest of S. Prisca 17 December 1143 Celestine II
Giulio Priest of S. Marcello 19 May 1144 Lucius II
Ubaldo Caccianemici, Can.Reg. Priest of S. Croce in Gerusalemme 19 May 1144 Lucius II Cardinal-nephew
Guido Puella Priest of S. Pudenziana 22 December 1144 Lucius II
Bernard, Can.Reg. Priest of S. Clemente 22 December 1144 Lucius II Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica
Rolando Priest of S. Marco and Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church 22 September 1150 Eugenius III Future Pope Alexander III (1159-1181)
Gerard Priest of S. Stefano al Monte Celio 2 March 1151 Eugenius III
Giovanni da Sutri Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo 21 February 1152 Eugenius III Rector of Campagna
Enrico da Pisa, O.Cist. Priest of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo 21 February 1152 Eugenius III
Giovanni Morrone Priest of SS. Silvestro e Martino 23 May 1152 Eugenius III
Rodolfo Deacon of S. Lucia in Septisolio 17 December 1143 Celestine II
Guido di Crema Deacon of S. Maria in Portico 21 September 1145 Eugenius III Future Antipope Paschal III (1164-1168)
Giovanni Gaderisio, Can.Reg. Deacon of SS. Sergio e Bacco 22 September 1150 Eugenius III
Ottone da Brescia Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere 21 February 1152 Eugenius III

Five electors were created by Pope Innocent II, four by Pope Celestine II, five by Pope Lucius II, eleven by Pope Eugenius III.


At least five cardinals did not participate in this election. Cardinal Giacinto Bobone is known to have been in Spain at that time; he served there as papal legate from the spring of 1154 until the end of 1155.[4] Cardinal Odone Bonecase was employed as legate in France in 1154/55.[5] Gerard de Namur was legate in Germany,[6] while Ildebrando in Lombardy.[7] Abbot Rainaldo of Montecassino was not a resident of Roman Curia:[8]

Elector Cardinalatial Title Elevated Elevator Notes
Rainaldo di Collemezzo, O.S.B.Cas. Priest of SS. Marcellino e Pietro ca.1139-1141 Innocent II Abbot of Montecassino (external cardinal)
Odone Bonecase Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro 4 March 1132 Innocent II Protodeacon; papal legate in France
Giacinto Bobone Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin 22 December 1144 Lucius II Papal legate in Spain; future Pope Celestine III (1191–98)
Gerard de Namur Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata 21 February 1152 Eugenius III Papal legate in Germany
Ildebrando Grassi, Can.Reg. Deacon of S. Eustachio 24 May 1152 Eugenius III Administrator of the see of Modena; Papal legate in Lombardy


  1. ^ Robinson, p. 78
  2. ^ S. Miranda, Pope Adrian IV
  3. ^ Reconstruction based on Brixius, p. 23, with the following corrections based on Zenker, p. 48-52, 79-82, 104-106:
    • cardinal-priest Gregorio of S. Maria in Trastevere and cardinal-bishop Gregorio of Sabina are actually one and the same person (Zenker, p. 48-52),
    • cardinal-priests Giovanni Paparoni of S. Lorenzo in Damaso and Jordan of S. Susanna are excluded because they both appear to have died before the death of Anastasius IV (Zenker, p. 79-82, 104-106).
  4. ^ Robinson, p. 147; Zenker, p. 163; for the exact date of his appointment as legate see Jaffé, p. 656 no. 6792
  5. ^ Edmund Ernst, Hermann Stengel (ed.), Archiv für Diplomatik: Schriftgeschichte, Siegel- und Wappenkunde, Böhlau-Verlag., 1987, p. 260; Zenker, p. 159.
  6. ^ K. Maleczyński, Studia nad dokumentem polskim, Wrocław 1971, p. 233; Zenker, p. 179
  7. ^ Zenker, p. 108
  8. ^ Klaus Ganzer, Die Entwicklung des auswärtigen Kardinalats im hohen Mittelalter, Tübingen 1963, p. 97.


  • Salvador Miranda Papal election of 1154
  • Robinson, Ian Stuart (1990). The Papacy, 1073–1198: Continuity and Innovation. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521264987.
  • Jaffé, Philipp (1851). Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita Ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Berlin: Veit et Socius.
  • Brixius, Johannes M. (1912). Die Mitglieder des Kardinalkollegiums von 1130–1181. Berlin.
  • Zenker, Barbara (1964). Die Mitglieder des Kardinalkollegiums von 1130 bis 1159. Würzburg.