Alexander IV

Pope from 1254. A nephew of Gregory XI, he was cardinal bishop of Ostia from 1231. As pope he continued Innocent IV’s policy of implacable hostility to the House of Hohenstaufen. In 1255 he attempted to secure English help in return for granting the kingdom of Sicily to Edmund, second son of Henry III of England. He vainly attempted to unite the powers of Europe in crusade. He was a notable friend of the Franciscans. Early in his reign he canonized Clare.* He took the friars of Paris under his protection in the violent controversies aroused by William of St. Amour.