Skip to main content

Campeggio, Lorenzo


Cardinal and presiding judge at the court trial of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, legate at the Diets of Nürnberg and Augsburg; b. Milan, Italy, 1472; d. Rome, July 25, 1539. Born of a Bolognese family that traced its ancestry to 1220 and was famous for its many lawyers, writers, and prelates, Lorenzo became a professor of law at the University of Bologna. Though a father of five children, he embraced the ecclesiastical state after the death of his wife in 1509. His advancement was rapid. He was auditor of the Rota in 1511, bishop of Feltre in the next year, nuncio to Emperor Maximilian I in 1513, and cardinal, July 1517. His first major diplomatic assignment came in 1518, when he was sent to the court of Henry VIII by Leo X to secure English support in a crusade against the Turks. Thomas Wolsey blocked his entry into England, until he himself was appointed colegate. Although the mission failed, Campeggio won honors from Henryincluding a mansion (built by Bramante) in Rome, the charge of English affairs in Rome, and the bishopric of Salisbury.

Ten years later, when the annulment of Henry's marriage was being petitioned, Wolsey requested Clement VII to appoint Campeggio as judge of the legal proceedings, because of his learning and tractability. Hoping that the King's interest in Anne Boleyn would wane with time, Campeggio delayed his arrival with a convenient attack of gout. Once in England he failed to reconcile the royal couple and failed in his later attempts to induce Queen Catherine's retirement into a convent. After a series of sessions, he adjourned the proceedings of the trial, giving as his reason that the time for summer vacation had arrived. Henry's chagrin resulted in Wolsey's dismissal from Court and Campeggio's loss of prestige. As he was leaving England his baggage was ransacked at Dover, in defiance of his diplomatic immunity, for evidence of bribes from the Emperor Charles V, nephew of Catherine of Aragon, or for a decretal bull defining conditions of the divorce.

Campeggio represented Rome at the diets of Nürnberg in 1524 and Augsburg in 1530. Although he opposed any council meetings with the Protestants, believing that they could be controlled only by imperial authority, he was sent by Paul III in 1538, together with cardinals Giacomo Simonetta and Girolamo Aleandro, to convene a council at Vincenza. He died on his return to Rome in the next year and was buried in Bologna.

Bibliography: j. s. brewer and j. gairdner, eds., Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII, 21 v. (London 18621910). m. fernÁndez de navarrete, Colección de documentos inéditos para la historia de España, Eng. tr. and summary in Calendar of State Papers, Spanish (London 1856). g. fantuzzi, Notizie degli scrittori bolognesi (Bologna 1783) 3:4761. c. sigonio, De Vita L. Campegi cardinalis (Bologna 1581). j. gairdner, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 3:850. h. liebing, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart 1:1606. e. v. cardinal, Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio: Legate to the Courts of Henry VIII and Charles V (Boston 1935). a. d'amato, Enciclopedia cattolica 3:470471. g. constant, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 11:633640. p. hughes, The Reformation in England v.1. Nuntiaturberichte aus Deutsch-land, Abt. 1, suppl. 1 Legation Lorenzo Campeggios 15301531 und Nuntiatur Girolamo Aleandros 1531, ed. g. mÜller (Tübingen 1963).

[e. v. cardinal]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Campeggio, Lorenzo." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 19 May. 2019 <>.

"Campeggio, Lorenzo." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (May 19, 2019).

"Campeggio, Lorenzo." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.