Papal election
December 1187
Dates and location
19 December 1187
Key officials
DeanKonrad von Wittelsbach
CamerlengoMelior le Maitre
ProtopriestGiovanni Conti da Anagni
ProtodeaconGiacinto Bobone Orsini
Elected pope
Paolo Scolari
Name taken: Clement III
1191 →

The December 1187 papal election (held December 19) was convoked after the death of Pope Gregory VIII. It resulted in the election of Cardinal Paolo Scolari, who took the name of Clement III.

List of participants

At the death of Gregory VIII there were probably only 20 cardinals.[1] Basing on the countersigning of the papal bulls in December 1187[2] it is possible to establish that only 9 cardinals[3] were present at the death of Gregory VIII at Pisa:

Elector Place of birth Title Elevated Elevator Notes
Paolo Scolari Rome Bishop of Palestrina September 21, 1179 Alexander III Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian Basilica; elected Pope Clement III
Thibaud, O.S.B.Cluny France Bishop of Ostia e Velletri 1184 Lucius III Elected Pope but declined
Laborante de Panormo Pontormo Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere September 1173 Alexander III
Melior le Maitre, O.S.B.Vall. Pisa Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo March 16, 1185 Lucius III Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
Giacinto Bobone Orsini Rome Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin December 22, 1144 Lucius II Protodeacon; future Pope Celestine III (1191-1198)
Graziano da Pisa Pisa Deacon of SS. Cosma e Damiano March 4, 1178 Alexander III
Ottaviano di Paoli Rome Deacon of SS. Sergio e Bacco December 18, 1182 Lucius III Future bishop of Ostia e Velletri (1189-1206)
Pietro Diana Piacenza Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere March 16, 1185 Lucius III
Radulf Nigellus probably France Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro March 16, 1185 Lucius III

Five electors were created by Pope Lucius III, three by Pope Alexander III, one by Pope Lucius II.

Absentee cardinals

Probably eleven cardinals were entirely absent:

Elector Place of birth Cardinalatial title Elevated Elevator Notes
Konrad von Wittelsbach Bavaria Bishop of Sabina and Archbishop of Mainz December 18, 1165 Alexander III Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals; external cardinal
Henri de Marsiac, O.Cist. Château de Marcy, France Bishop of Albano March 1179 Aleksander III Papal legate in Germany
Giovanni Conti da Anagni Anagni Priest of S. Marco 1158/1159 Adrian IV Protopriest; future bishop of Palestrina (1190-1196)
Ruggiero di San Severino San Severino Priest of S. Eusebio and Archbishop of Benevento Ca. 1178-1180 Alexander III External cardinal
Guillaume aux Blanches Mains France Priest of S. Sabina and Archbishop of Reims March 1179 Alexander III Minister of State of the Kingdom of France; external cardinal
Albino, C.R.S.F. Gaeta (?) Priest of S. Croce in Gerusalemme December 18, 1182 Lucius III Future bishop of Albano (1189-1197)
Pandolfo Lucca Priest of SS. XII Apostoli December 18, 1182 Lucius III
Adelardo Cattaneo Verona Priest of S. Marcello March 16, 1185 Lucius III Future bishop of Verona (1188-1214)
Soffredo Pistoia Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata December 18, 1182 Lucius III Papal legate in France
Bobo Rome Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria December 18, 1182 Lucius III Papal legate in France; future bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina (1189-1190)
Gerardo Lucca Deacon of S. Adriano December 18, 1182 Lucius III Papal Vicar; Cardinal-nephew (?) of Lucius III

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

Death of Urban III and the election of Pope Gregory VIII

Pope Gregory VIII died at Pisa on December 17, 1187 after a pontificate of only one month and twenty-seven days. Two days later the cardinals present on his deathbed started proceedings to elect his successor. The election was celebrated in the presence of Consul of Rome Leo de Monumento. In the first round of voting Cardinal Thibaud of Ostia was elected but declined. In the second round the cardinals unanimously elected Cardinal Paolo Scolari, bishop of Palestrina. He accepted his election and took the name Clement III.[4] On January 7, 1188 he was solemnly crowned by protodeacon Giacinto Bobone Orsini and in February 1188 he returned to Rome.[5]


  1. ^ I.S. Robinson, p. 44 and 87; Kartusch, p. 31.
  2. ^ Jaffé Philipp, Regesta..., p. 528, 535-536
  3. ^ I.S. Robinson, p. 44
  4. ^ A. Piazzoni, p. 175
  5. ^ S. Miranda Cardinal Paolo Scolari


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