Pouget, Bertrand De

Pouget, Bertrand de a French cardinal, was born in 1280 at Le Pouget, now the commune of Aynac. If we may believe Villani and Petrarch, it was rumored in Italy that he was the natural son of pope John XXII, who was born in the same diocese (Cahors); others affirm that the pope was his uncle. A simple deacon of Castelnau Montratier and canon of Saint-Sauvemur d'Aix. he was comprised in the first promotion of cardinals, made Dec. 17, 1316, by John XXII, who, three years afterwards, sent him to Italy with the most unlimited powers for the purpose of retrieving the dominions of the Church. At the head of a small army, Bertrand, together with Philip of Valois, who afterwards became king of France, directed his first blows against Matteo Visconti, the nominal chief of the Lombard Ghibellines. He was, however, unsuccessful, and was obliged to resort to the anathemas of the Church, and to preach a crusade against Matteo. This attempt being unsuccessful also, he determined to unite with the Guelphs and oppose Galea Visconti, who had succeeded his father. Genoa and Piacenza took his part, Milan revolted, and the whole signoria was nearly lost to the Visconti, when the arrival of Louis of Bavaria, victorious at Miihldorf, changed the state of things. After some brilliant rather than real victories, Louis was compelled to return to Germany, leaving the field in possession of the cardinal, whom the pope had appointed bishop of Ostia and of Velletri. Parma and Reggio had surrendered to him in 1326; Bologna, Modena, and the other cities of the Romagna followed their example. But as he had neither the virtues nor the talents requisite to preserve his conquests, Bertrand had in 1329 to repress at Parma and Reggio several revolts against his authority. Towards the close of 1330 John of Luxemburg took, in the name of the emperor Louis V, Cremona, Parma, Pavia, and Modena. An interview held by the cardinal with the king of Bohemia excited the distrust of the Italians, and Bertrand, who had recently obtained the titles of marquis of Ancona and count of Romagna, saw the tide of ill-will and hostility rise all around him. The marquis of Este, whom he had basely deceived, defeated his army near Ferrara, and Bologna expelled him in March, 1334. He was fain to accept the mediation of the Florentines, and retired to Avignon, where the death of John XXII (Dec. 4, 1334) deprived him of all hopes of being put at the head of a new expedition. From that time he devoted himself entirely to religious matters. He died at Avignon Feb. 3, 1352, and was buried in the church of the Clarisse Nuns, a congregation founded by him. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v. See Aubery, Hist. des Cardin. vol. 1; Sismondi, Hist. des Republiques Italiennes.

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