First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Year of the World 6542

Year of Christ 1343

Clement VI, previously called Pierre (Peter) a monk, afterward archbishop of Rouen, and finally, in the month of May, A.D. 1342, elected pope at Avignon, was a well educated, eloquent, mild, and whole-souled man. In the first year of his pontificate he consecrated eight cardinals and two deacons. However, after he learned that there was much dissension and turmoil in Italy, he confirmed only Luchinus and John as episcopal viscounts of Insubria , ignoring other princes in Italy, in the hope that these two might oppose the majesty of Emperor Louis, who was about to invade Italy. The emperor proceeded as far as Trent, and in the exercise of his imperial authority, to the distress of the pope he confirmed many governors of Italian cities which belonged to the Church. This antagonistic attitude greatly endangered the pope and his successors; for under the pretense of municipal government many cities were withdrawn from obedience to the Church. This pope sent a number of cardinals from Avignon to Rome to set aright the status and affairs of the Romans. Finally Clement died at Avignon in the eleventh year of his pontificate, and he was buried there.

The Jubilee, or Year of Grace, was fixed by Clement as A.D. 1350, at the request of the Romans; and every fiftieth year thereafter was to be a year of grace for absolution from all sins, for the benefit of those who should visit the churches and holy places at Rome. Although, according to the old law, every hundredth year had been a year of Jubilee, yet, as human life did not span that period it was thought best to make the pilgrimages to Rome not more than fifty years apart. In the same year a great number of people came to Rome from all parts of Christendom, a greater concourse than in any previous jubilee year.

In this same period there occurred at Milan an unheard of mortality from the plague; and a frightful pestilence raged continuously for three years over all Italy. Barely ten persons out of every thousand survived; and this is not to be marvelled at, for the great number of people who came to Italy in the course of the Jubilee Year infected and poisoned one another.

Innocent VI, formerly called Etienne (Stephen), highly learned in the canon and civil laws, firstly a procurator, and later bishop and cardinal, was elected pope in A.D. 1352. He was a man of righteousness, great firmness and earnestness. He conferred ecclesiastical benefices only upon pious learned priests who had led a good life. Soon after his coronation he ordained that all prelates and holders of benefices should repair to their churches on pain of excommunication; for he said that the pastures should be tended by their own shepherds and not by mercenaries. And thus he curtailed the household expenses which at that time were very great; he appointed pious persons to the offices and caused the cardinals to do likewise. He provided a fixed compensation for the judges of the papal court so that by reason of their own poverty they might not be diverted in their decisions by gifts and bribes. He was moderate in the matter of provisions, but liberal in military expenditures. He demanded restitution of what the tyrants had wrested from the church. He sent forth Aegidius of the noble family of Carilla, a native of Spain, who was a bishop of Sabina and a cardinal, and a distinguished, ingenious, and mighty man; and through him he soon brought all the cities and castles of the church, which had been incumbered by the tyrants, back under his dominion. This Innocent caused the Genoese and Venetians to enter into a treaty of peace; and he made peace between the Pisans and Florentines. He also silenced the dissensions which had occurred in the election of senators at Rome, and diligently sought to end the war between England and Prance. He caused ships to be prepared against the infidels. But he died in the tenth year of his pontificate in the face of such cares, labors and strife, and was buried in the Carthusian monastery at Avignon which he had built and endowed at his own expense.