Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Third English Cardinal, date of birth uncertain, d. at Rome, about 1181. He was a Benedictine monk of St. AlbansAbbey and the nephew of Adrian IV. Though this relationship was on the maternal side, Cardella states that Boso as well as Adrian IV bore the surname of Breakspear. He had a reputation not only for piety, but also for learning, and was esteemed by contemporary writers as among the most eminent theologians of his age. He compiled or wrote the lives of several eleventh and twelfth century popes, among them the life of his uncle, and indulged in the lighter accomplishment of versifying, examples of his poetic powers still existing in the Cotton manuscripts in the British Museum, in the form of metrical lives of saints. He followed his uncle to Rome ; and on the latter's elevation to the Papal Chair, was created by him Cardinal-Deacon of the title of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, in December, 1155, and was also appointed Camerlengo of the Holy See. Adrian sent Boso on a mission to Portugal ; for what precise purpose does not transpire, but the fact is attested by the registers of Pope Innocent III. He also confided to him the governorship of the Castle of Sant' Angelo, being somewhat suspicious of the fidelity of the Roman populace. When Adrian IV died in 1159, dissensions arose in the conclave as to the choice of his successor, the result of which was the creation of a schism lasting seventeen years. Four cardinals in the imperial interest voted for Cardinal Octavian, who assumed the name of Victor IV, but he was acknowledged only by the Germans. On the very day of Adrian's burial in the Vatican basilica, 5 September, Cardinal Boso, who appears to have taken the lead, withdrew with the majority, twenty-three, of the cardinals within the fortress of Sant' Angelo to escape the vengeance of the antipope, and straightway elected as pope, Cardinal Rolando (Bandinelli) of Siena, who was consecrated under the name of Alexander III. The new pope was not unmindful of his obligations to Boso, and soon (1163) promoted him Cardinal-Priest of the title of St. Pudentiana. When Alexander made his memorable journey to Venice to receive the submission and allegiance of the Emperor Frederick, and to ratify the "Peace of Venice" (24 June, 1177) which closed the schism, he was accompanied by Boso. Alexander also entrusted Boso with a mission to Tuscany, an event attested by the registers of Alexander IV. Boso's name appears attached to many Bulls, both of Adrian IV and of Alexander III.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 6:12-28
12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realise ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2015 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at ... Read More