Pope Clement VII

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Pope Clement VII as played by Ian McElhinnery

Born May 26, 1478 - died 1534
Character's backstory
: Born
in Florence as Giulio di Giuliano de'Medici a month after his father, Giuliano de Medici, was assassinated in the Pazzi Conspiracy, his parents had not had a formal marriage but a special loophole allowing for the parents to be bethrothed meant that he would be considered legitimate.

He was made a Knight of Rhodes and Grand Prior of Capua and when his cousin, Pope Leo X, was elected as Pope, he became a powerful figure in Rome. Upon his cousin's accession to Papacy, he became his principal minister and confidant, especially in the maintenence of the Medici interest at Florence as archbishop of that city. On September 23, 1513, he was made a cardinal and he was consecrated on September 29. He was given credit for being the main director of papal policy during all of Pope Leo X's pontificate.

He came to the papal throne on November 19, 1523, after the reign of Pope Adrian VI and died September 25, 1534, aged 56, in Rome, Italy. He was succeeded by Pope Paul III.

He would be remembered for being a large part of the English Reformation, especially during Henry VIII's annulment with Catherine Of Aragon and marriage to Anne Boleyn. He excommunicated Henry and Thomas Cramner from the Roman Catholic Church in 1533. He is also remembered for ordering, a few days before his death, Michelangelo's painting of The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel.

Gentility: The son of Giuliano de Medici, assassinated in the conspiracy of the Pazzi at Florence, and of a certain Fioretta, daughter of Antonia

Position: Roman Catholic Pope from 1523 to 1534

Personality type: "A weak, vacillating figure in the political struggles between King Francis I of France and the Holy Roman emperor Charles V for the domination of Europe, Clement shifted his support from one to the other while attempting to maintain control of Italy." ~ Encyclopedia Britannica
"In their verdict upon the character of Pope Clement VII almost all historians are agreed. He was an Italian prince, a de' Medici, and a diplomat first, and a spiritual ruler afterwards. His intelligence was of a high order, though his diplomacy was feeble and irresolute. On the other hand, his private life was free from reproach, and he had many excellent impulses, but despite good intention, all qualities of heroism and greatness must emphatically be denied him." ~ Catholic Encyclopedia

Signature look:

Endearing trait(s): When he came to the Papal Throne, he brought a reputation for political ability and possessed all the accomplishments of a wily diplomat.

Annoying trait(s): He was considered worldly and indifferent to what went on around him, including the ongoing Protestant Reformation.

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Pope Clement VII as portrayed by Ian McElhinnery

" learned, clever, respectable and industrious,
though he had little enterprise and less decision"

(Armstrong, Charles V)


"The act of marriage, which depended for its validity on the decision of the ecclesiastical courts, had, on account of the numerous dissolutions and dispensations granted, not then attained the security since assured to it by the secular law. For obtaining dissolutions of royal marriages the facilities were especially great. Pope Clement VII himself permitted such a dissolution in the case of Henry's own sister Margaret, in 1528, proposed later as a solution of the problem that Henry should be allowed two wives, and looked not unfavourably, with the same aim, on the project for marrying the duke of Richmond [[[Henry Fitzroy]]] to [Princess] Mary , a brother to a sister....

It was not therefore the immorality of the plea which obstructed the papal decree in Henry's favour, but the unlucky imprisonment at this time of Clement VII at the hands of Charles V, Catherine's nephew, which obliged the pope, placed thus "between the hammer and the anvil," to pursue a policy of delay and hesitation. Nor was the immorality of Henry's own character the primary cause of the project of divorce. Had this been so, a succession of mistresses would have served as well as a series of single wives. The real occasion was the king's desire for a male heir" ~ Luminarium.org/encyclopedia


Family members: Part of the powerful Medici Family. His father was Giuliano de Medici and his mother was Fioretta. He was also nephew to Lorenzo the Magnificent, cousin to Pope Leo X and uncle to Catherine de Medici, Queen Of France

Romance(s): As basically his whole life was dedicated to serving the Roman Catholic Church, he never had any romances.





Pope Clement VII as portrayed by Ian McElhinnery Pope Clement VII

Pope Clement VII