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Adrian IV

nicholas breakspear) (c.1100-1159. Pope from 1154. The only English pope, he was born on the estates of St. Alban's, studied at Paris and Arles, and entered the house of secular canons of St. Rufus near Avignon where he became abbot in 1137. A visit to Rome in connection with a dispute with his canons brought him to the notice of Eugenius III. He was made cardinal bishop of Albana and was sent as papal legate to Norway and Sweden (1152). He reformed the rudimentary canon law of the Scandinavian churches, made Trondheim a metropolitan bishopric for Norway, created a new bishopric, Hamar, and introduced the payment of Peter's Pence.* As pope he was confronted by the reforming zeal of Arnold of Brescia and the relentless enmity of Frederick Barbarossa. The former combined moral indignation against clerical abuses with advocacy of a Roman republic independent of the pope. Adrian banished Arnold from Rome, and subsequently secured his repudiation by Frederick and execution (1155). He withstood Frederick, exacting full homage before consenting to crown him as emperor, and insisting that his crown was a beneficium held from the pope. In similar vein the Benevento Treaty (1156), which recognized the territorial rights of the Sicilian kingdom, was granted on condition that William of Sicily did homage to the pope. The claim that Adrian granted overlordship of Ireland to the English king, Henry II, is based on the bull Laudabiliter, which may be a forgery.

See E.M. Almedingen, The English Pope (1925).

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