1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Innocent/Innocent VII
Innocent VII. (Cosimo dei Migliorati), pope from the 17th of October 1404 to the 6th of November 1406, was born of middle-class parentage at Sulmona in the Abruzzi in 1339. On account of his knowledge of civil and canon law, he was made papal vice-chamberlain and archbishop of Ravenna by Urban VI., and appointed by Boniface IX. cardinal priest of Sta Croce in Gerusalemme, bishop of Bologna, and papal legate to England. He was unanimously chosen to succeed Boniface, after each of the cardinals had solemnly bound himself to employ all lawful means for the restoration of the church’s unity in the event of his election, and even, if necessary, to resign the papal dignity. The election was opposed at Rome by a considerable party, but peace was maintained by the aid of Ladislaus of Naples, in return for which Innocent made a promise, inconsistent with his previous oath, not to come to terms with the antipope Benedict XIII., except on condition that he should recognize the claims of Ladislaus to Naples. Innocent issued at the close of 1404 a summons for a general council to heal the schism, and it was not the pope’s fault that the council never assembled, for the Romans rose in arms to secure an extension of their liberties, and finally maddened by the murder of some of their leaders by the pope’s nephew, Ludovico dei Migliorati, they compelled Innocent to take refuge at Viterbo (6th of August 1405). The Romans, recognizing later the pope’s innocence of the outrage, made their submission to him in January 1406. He returned to Rome in March, and, by bull of the 1st of September, restored the city’s decayed university. Innocent was extolled by contemporaries as a lover of peace and honesty, but he was without energy, guilty of nepotism, and showed no favour to the proposal that he as well as the antipope should resign. He died on the 6th of November 1406 and was succeeded by Gregory XII.