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Intrigue, Schism, and Violence among the Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384 Author(s): Anthony Luttrell Source: Speculum, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 1966), pp. 30-48 Published by: Medieval Academy of America Stable URL: Accessed: 08/09/2009 07:12
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BY ANTHONY LUTTRELL DURING the fourteenth century the knights and brethren of the Hospital of St

John of Jerusalem, having established their Order on the island of Rhodes in 1310, took part in nearly every important crusading campaign in the Eastern Mediterranean. The aims of these operations varied since the Latins, after their expulsion from Syria by the Mamluks in 1291, had no single clear objective. While some Western leaders sought easy conquests from the Greeks in Romania, others continued the struggle against the Mamluks by assisting the Christians in Cilician Armenia or by attacking the Syrian and Egyptian coasts in a series of raids which culminated in the sack of Alexandria in 1365. Subsequently Latin crusading energies were largely devoted to the defence of Europe itself. As the Byzantine state continued to disintegrate during the first half of the century, the Turks completed the conquest of Asia Minor and harassed both Latins and Greeks on and around the Aegean. The Ottoman Turks occupied Gallipoli on the European side of the Dardanelles in 1354, and thereafter they advanced rapidly through the Balkans into Thessaly, Albania, Epirus, and Serbia. The Latins' strength was at sea and their interests lay above all in maritime commerce; they gave little effective help to the Greeks but in 1344 they captured Smyrna, the base of the aggressive Turkish pirates who were attacking Latin shipping. The popes, traditionally the leaders of the crusade, were usually reluctant to devote sufficient money to it. The Venetians and Genoese could not be trusted to support crusading ventures likely to harm their own trade, while the chief Western powers were involved in the Anglo-French and other wars. The Levantine Latin states, such as the Lusignans on Cyprus, the Angevins in the Morea, and the Catalans at Thebes and Athens, became increasingly feeble; the Templars were suppressed in 1319.and the Teutonic Order abandoned the struggle in the Mediterranean. When, after 1370, Pope Gregory XI turned his attention to the defence of the Latin East, the only power on which he could rely for crusading action was the Order of St John. Its charitable and medical activities apart, the Hospital's primary raison d'etre was its participation in the crusade; the struggle with the infidels justified the possession of the extensive properties which constituted the Order's priories in the West and provided the incomes needed to sustain it in the Levant. After the fall of Acre in 1291 the Hospitallers withdrew to Cyprus, having suffered heavy losses. In the following years they twice intervened in Cilician Armenia, and then in 1306 they joined in the Latin scramble for territories in Romania by attacking the Greek island of Rhodes, which they subdued by 1310. Much of the criticism levelled at the Order in the following decades was exaggerated and unreal. It was true that some Hospitallers were corrupt, that a number of them failed to pay the responsiones and other monies due to the Master at Rhodes, and that many preferred life in the European priories to service in the Levant. It

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


was only partly true that the brethren at Rhodes remained inactive in the security of their island when they might have shown more aggressiveness against the Turks. Despite the many obstacles to the mobilization of the necessary wealth, manpower, and political support, the Order successfully colonized and fortified Rhodes, where it was able to provide crusading expeditions with a safe harbour and a small but disciplined and experienced body of warriors. The Latins could partly compensate for their numerical inferiority by exploiting their naval power in amphibious attacks on the Turks and Mamluks, who were generally weak at sea. The Hospitallers defeated the Turks in the waters around Rhodes, sent further assistance to the Armenians, and played their part in the Christian naval coalitions which first captured and then defended Smyrna; they also contributed a hundred brethren, four galleys, and some transport vessels to the expedition which sailed from Rhodes to attack Alexandria in 1365. The struggle to defend the Christian East was a continuous one, and occasional expeditions from the West seldom achieved more than temporary gains. In such conditions the presence at Rhodes of a few hundred Hospitallers who were permanently available for action in the Levant was of special importance. At Rhodes the Hospitallers were largely independent, although some Western rulers were able to prevent money and recruits reaching them there, and the popes increasingly exerted their general authority over the Master and brethren. Pope Gregory XI attempted to reform the Hospital's European priories, and in 1374 he entrusted to the Order extensive responsibilities for maintaining the Latin garrison at Smyrna. Gregory XI also planned to send a passagium of Hospitallers to oppose the Ottomans in the Aegean. This expedition was eventually diverted to Adriatic Greece where it was a total failure, and major crusading operations were scarcely possible in the decade following the outbreak of full-scale war between Venice and Genoa in 1377 and the schism in the Roman church precipitated by Gregory's death in 1378. However, the Hospitallers continued to defend Rhodes and Smyrna, they played a part in the great crusade which was defeated by the Turks at Nicopolis in 1396, and between 1397 and 1403 they occupied Corinth and protected the Morea from the triumphant Ottomans. In the years after 1377 the Order provided the most reliable, if not the most powerful, crusading force in the Levant, and in these circumstances the attitudes of the brethren and the internal affairs of the Hospital acquired considerable significance for the whole Christian East.'
1 In the absence of any chronicle history of the Hospitallers, events at Rhodes have to be reconstructed from the fragmentary records in the Royal Malta Library, Valletta; Archives of the Order of St John of Jersualem [Malta, cod.], supplemented by material from the Archivio Vaticano [Reg. Vat. and Reg. Aven.]. The standard work, J. Delaville le Roulx, Les Hospitaliers a Rhodesjusqu'a la mort de Philibert de Naillac, 1310-1421 (Paris, 1918), though it contains much information, was published posthumously and is seriously outdated, while its arrangement as a series of biographies of the Masters of the Hospital precluded the coherent development of political themes. Delaville made little attempt to analyse the interplay of personalities and interests within the Order, and his account of the present topic is far from satisfactory. New interpretations based on much fresh information are presented below; the fact that a document has already been used, accurately or inaccurately, by Delaville is not always noted. See also A. Luttrell, "The Knights Hospitallers of Rhodes and their Achieve-


The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

Enthusiasm for the crusade had always been strongest in the Frankish lands, and while Hospitallers came to serve at Rhodes from almost every part of Latin Christendom, the greatest number, including the first eight Masters of the Order who ruled at Rhodes, were French-speaking. During the second half of the fourteenth century, however, the French preponderance was gradually reduced. In 1357 the Order's statutes were translated from Provengal, the official language of the Hospital, into Latin, so that they might be more widely understood;2 and in 1374, after serious quarrels between the French and Italian brethren over such matters as the provisions to certain preceptories in Italy and Hungary, Gregory XI confirmed a number of measures designed to ensure that each langue or nation was represented in the election of the Master.3 Gregory was anxious to promote unity among the Hospitallers on whom he was relying for the passagium against the Turks which was to be led by his own favourite, the Aragonese Hospitaller Fr Juan Fernandez de Heredia. Preparations for the expedition moved slowly, and when strife among the Greeks and between the Genoese and Venetians made the Aegean unsuitable as a theatre of operations the Hospital turned to the defence of the Latins in mainland Greece. During 1377 the Hospitallers occupied part of the Morea after leasing the Principality of Achaea for five years from Joanna of Anjou, Queen of Naples, and they also acquired the lordship of the Adriatic port of Vonitza in Epirus, which was being attacked by the Albanians, as a base for their campaign in Greece.4 The pope again intervened in the Order's affairs on the death of the Master of the Hospital, Fr Robert de Juilly, at Rhodes on 29 July 1377. In a bull dated 924 September, Gregory XI broke the French monopoly of power by providing the ambitious Fernandez de Heredia to the vacant Mastership. This provision was contrary to the statutes and privileges of the Hospital and a vigorous protest from the Convent, the ruling council of the Order at Rhodes, compelled the pope to explain that his intervention was made pro hac vice and was not to be considered as a precedent for similar papal interference in the future.5 None the less, Gregory's action must have offended the susceptibilities not only of the French but of numerous brethren whose careers had been devoted to the service of Chrisments in the Fourteenth Century," Revuede l'Ordresouverain militaire de Malte, xvi (1958); "Venice and the Knights Hospitallers of Rhodes in the Fourteenth Century," Papers of the British School at Rome, xxvi (1958); "Emmanuele Piloti and Criticism of the Knights Hospitallers of Rhodes: 13061444," Annales de l'Ordresouverain militaire de Malte, xx (1962); "The Crusade in the Fourteenth Century," in Europe in the Late Middle Ages, ed. J. Hale, J. Highfield, B. Smalley (London, 1965), which discusses the Hospitallers' activities in their wider context. 2 Malta, cod. 69. 3 Delaville, pp. 166-169, 174-175, 187; Lettres secreteset curiales du Pape GregoireXI (1370-1378) relatives la lFrance, fasc. iv, ed. G. Mollat (Paris, 1955), no. 3283. 4 O. Halecki, Un empereurde Byzance a Rome: vingt ans de travail pour l'union des eglises et pour la dffense de l'Empire d'Orient: 1355-1375 (Warsaw, 1930), pp. 264-265, 284-301, 315-318, et pass; A. Luttrell, "The Principality of Achaea in 1377," Byzantinische Zeitschrift,LVII (1964), 840-848. 6 A. Luttrell, "Interessi fiorentini nell'Economia e nella Politica dei Cavalieri Ospedalieri di Rodi nel Trecento," Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa: lettere,storia efilosofia, serie II, xxviii (1959), 323.

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


tendom at Rhodes, for the new Master had long been the very type of corrupt Hospitaller who was more interested in the Order's riches in Europe than in the struggle with the Turks. In over fifty years as a Hospitaller, Fernandez de Heredia had probably spent no more than a few months at Rhodes before his arrival there in 1379. Yet during that half century he had unscrupulously enriched himself, his relatives, and his illegitimate children with the Order's wealth. He had exploited his political and administrative talents and his friendships with kings and popes to secure control of three of the Order's priories, those of Aragon, Catalunya, and Provence, and at times he had defied the Master and Convent at Rhodes by refusing to send them the responsiones and other large sums due from his priories.6 After he had become Master, Fernandez de Heredia was to behave in a different way. Early in 1378, he arrived with a small force at Vonitza in Epirus. Then, in March 1378, Gregory XI died. His successor, Urban VI, apparently failed to provide the Hospitallers in Greece with the supplies they were expecting, and in the summer Fernandez de Heredia was ambushed and captured near Arta in Epirus by the Albanian chief Ghin Boua Spata.7 The raising of the Master's ransom, in addition to the debts already incurred in preparing the passagium, left the Order in serious financial difficulties. These were faced by a Chaptergeneral which met at Rhodes in February 1379, under the presidency of Fr Bertrand Flote, the Grand Preceptor, who was there elected to act as Master; those present included Fr Gerard de Vienne, Prior of France, Fr Robert de ChAteauneuf, Prior of Auvergne, and Fr Gautier de la Bastide, Prior of Toulouse. Fr Bertrand Flote, who perhaps considered himself cheated of the Mastership, and the other French brethren who must have dominated the proceedings of the Chapter took drastic steps to curb the powers of the new Master. They enacted a number of statutes declaring that the Master was to associate the Convent with all his decisions; that he could only exercise certain powers when himself present at Rhodes; that the Convent was to control appointments to offices and grants of land made by the Master; and that the Convent was to nominate commissioners to supervise his expenditures. They clearly intended to recover the effective control over the Order which they had lost.8 Meanwhile the lands and seas around Rhodes were in a dangerously unsettled state. With Genoa and Venice at war and the Roman church in schism, the slender possibilities of an ecclesiastical union with the Greeks and of Latin cooperation with them in defending the Balkans against the Turks had almost completely disappeared. The peace concluded between Genoa and Venice in 1381
6 On Fernandez de Heredia, see Delaville and the bibliography in A. Luttrell, "Greek Histories translated and compiled for Juan Fernandez de Heredia, Master of Rhodes, 1377-1396," SPECULUM, xxxv (1960): add A. Luttrell, "The Aragonese Crown and the Knights Hospitallers of Rhodes, 12911350," English Historical Review, LXXVI (1961). 7 R.-J. Loenertz, "Hospitaliers et Navarrais en Grece, 1376-1383: regestes et documents," Orientalia Christiana Periodica, xxII (1956), 331; Luttrell, "Interessi," 322-324; for Urban's part, C. Du Boulay, Historia Universitatis Parisiensis, iv (Paris, 1668), p. 521. 8 Delaville, pp. 205-209, with considerable further detail.


The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

brought some tranquillity, but it left the Latins exhausted and relatively impotent. Both popes continued to compete for support in the Levant and for the taxes and prestige that came with it. Much of the Latin East followed the Genoese and Venetians in leaning towards the Roman pope, Urban VI, but there were pockets of obedience to Clement VII, the pope at Avignon, who issued bulls on behalf of the Levantine Latins and contributed to the defence of Smyrna against the Turks. In Cyprus, King Pierre II de Lusignan supported Clement, but part of the island was controlled by the Genoese and the authority of the Clementist bishops there was limited and doubtful.9 Clement VII's real stronghold was at Rhodes. He took care to retain the Hospitallers' allegiance, and when the Priors of France and Auvergne arrived in Avignon from Rhodes with the statutes passed at the Chapter-general held there in February, Clement confirmed them on 6 August 1379, though he stated that he was reluctant to do so since the Master's captivity had made it impossible for him to be consulted in the matter. Clement acted on the advice of the two priors and of other brethren in Europe, but with the proviso that his confirmation was to have no validity if the Master were already dead, even if he were later discovered to have given his legal assent to Flote's election as acting-Master before his own death.10 Clement must have realized that the new statutes were directed against Fernandez de Heredia personally. The Iospitallers faced the possibility that the schism in the church would produce divided allegiances and a breakdown of discipline in their own European priories, with the consequent non-payment of the responsiones essential to the Order's survival at Rhodes. There was also the danger of schism among the brethren in the Convent. Fernandez de Heredia reached Rhodes by July 1379 and assumed control there.11He doubtless used his political experience and his great charm in appealing to the Hospitallers' traditional sense of discipline and devotion in times of crisis. His support of Clement VII must have secured him the following of many of those Frenchmen who would otherwise have opposed him; their support was important, for financially the Convent was largely dependent on the French priories. In general, the leading Frenchmen retained their positions in the Convent, but the Master placed special reliance on a number of non-French brethren. One of these, Fr Daniele del Carretto, Preceptor of Cyprus and Genoa, had been sent in 1377 to rule the Morea for the Order as baili of the Principality of Achaea.12Another, Fr Domenico de Alamania, Preceptor of Naples and Cicciano, was the Master's Lieutenant in Italy in September 1379,
9 There is no proper study of the schism in the Latin Levant: see N. Valois, La France et le Grand Schisme d'Occident,I-I (Paris, 1896), I. 197, n. 1; i. 218-224; O.Halecki, "Rome et Byzance au temps du Grand Schisme d'Occident," Collectanea Theologica (Lw6w), xviii (1937); G. Hill, A History of Cyprus, ii (Cambridge, 1948), pp. 422-429; G. Dennis, The Reign of Manuel II Palaeologus in Thessalonica, 1382-1387 (Rome, 1960), pp. 37-51, 132-135; F. Thiriet and P. Wirth, "La politique religieuse de Venise a Negrepont a la fin du XIVe siecle," Byzantinische Zeitschrift, LVI(1968). 10Reg. Aven. 215, fols. 194-194v. n He was there by 8 July (Reg. Aven. 216, fols. 171-172). 12 Delaville, pp. 145-146, 190, 200; Carretto was dead by December 1378 (Reg. Vat. 291, fols. 91v-92).

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


and in 1381 he was charged with important missions in Greece.13Four other senior Italians, Fr Palamedo di Giovanni, Admiral of the Order, and the Priors of Pisa, Venice, and Capua, accompanied the Master to Epirus in 1378, and the Admiral and Fr Lodovico de Valperga, Prior of Lombardy, were with him at Another trusted follower was Fr Hesso Schegelholtz, Preceptor Rhodes in 1380.14 of Rottweil and Freiburg-im-Breisgau; he had travelled to Constantinople in 1374 and to Hungary in 1375 on missions connected with Fernandez de Heredia's passagium, and he acted for the Master in the Morea in about 1380.15Whatever his motives, Fernandez de Heredia's use of such men must have done something to weaken the French preponderance in the Convent. Rhodes and its dependencies had to be defended. During 1381 the Master took steps to strengthen the fortifications at Smyrna and on the island of Kos, and to maintain the galley which guarded Rhodes, while on 8 April 1382 he ordered the governor of Nisyros to prepare the galley owed by that island for In the service of the Order.16 October 1381 George, Archbishop of Smyrna, and Niccolo da Modena, Constable of Smyrna, were sent to Avignon to seek aid for their city,17 and on 10 March 1382 Clement VII ordered that the Archbishop of Nicosia and the clergy of Cyprus, notwithstanding their appeals, should pay the Hospitallers at Rhodes the "two parts of the tenth" due to be raised by the Christians of the Levant for the defence of Smyrna; and for the same purpose he allotted 2000 ducats to be taken out of the goods left in Cyprus by the late Patriarch of Jerusalem.18Faced with reports of pestilences, Turkish incursions, and the consequent depopulation of the Order's islands, Clement had already, in 1379, licensed the Order to import corn and other victuals from the Turks, on condition that war materials such as wood or iron were not traded in return.19 While Clement VII sought to maintain his position at Rhodes, the Roman pope hoped to win the Ilospitallers to his cause. In a bull dated 2 March 1381 Urban VI initiated an investigation of the state of the Hospital which finally led to Fernandez de Heredia's "deposition." The defeat of the Clementist Queen Joanna of Naples in June 1381 prepared the way for Urbanist successes in Greece, and during that summer the Hospitallers evacuated those parts of the Morea which they had governed since 1377.20Possibly there were Urbanist agents at for Rhodes or at Smyrna, where the mercenaries' pay was often in arrears,21 on
13Reg. Vat. 294, fols. 152-152v (22 September 1379); Delaville, p. 190, n. 3; Loenertz, pp. 332-340. 14 Malta, cod. 48, fols. 168v-169 (24 April 1378); cod. 12, no. 31 (4 June 1380). 15K. Herquet, Juan Ferrandez de Heredia, Grossmeisterdes Johanniterordens, 1377-1396 (Miilhausen-in-Thuringia, 1878), pp. 92-100; Delaville, pp. 185, 187; Loenertz, pp. 333, 337, 351. 16 Malta, cod. 321, fols. 210, 212v, 213v, 220. 17 Malta, cod. 321, fols. 214v, 232; cod. 48, fol. 62v. The Carmelite George Dalmatii had been provided to the Archbishopric of Smyrna on 6 September 1379: C. Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, i (Miinster, 1913), p. 456. 18 Malta, cod. 48, fol. 68; Reg. Aven. 230, fols. 282-282v, 292v. 19Reg. Aven. 215, fols. 260-2F0v (6 August 1379); corn was being imported from Altoluogo (Ephesus) in 1381/2 (Malta, cod. 48, fols. 63v, 64). 20 Loenertz, pp. 337-340; Delaville, pp. 248-249; Halecki, "Rome et Byzance," pp. 481-493. 21 Reg. Aven. 201, fol. 242v (24 October 1377); 216, fol. 138 (13 October 1379).


The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

28 March 1381 Fernandez de Heredia ordered an inquiry into accusations, which were later dropped, that a mercenary at Smyrna named Nicholas Robaud was secretly intriguing with the enemies of the Order and its Master, and of "the
pope," that is of Clement VII.22

There was also trouble among the Hospitallers themselves. Those brethren who had spent years in the minor garrisons around the coasts of Rhodes, at Smyrna, and on Kos and the other islands, must have felt bitter that the best commands, such as the lucrative Preceptory of Cyprus, so often went to those already waxing rich on the Order's European wealth. Some Hospitallers served both in Europe and in the East but, just as many of them never went to Rhodes at all or made only brief visits in order to secure promotion in the West, so there were others whose careers were spent primarily in the Convent at Rhodes or elsewhere in the Levant. Some of these Levantine brethren were likely to succumb to the propaganda of the Roman pope; others turned to crime. On 6 April 1381 Fr Guillaume Hussal was booted out - rebotatus- to Kos; on 9 May Fr Raymond Adam was rebotatus and ordered to take the first boat to the Order's distant island of Kastellorizzo; in June Fr Bernard Ratier was deprived of the castellany of a castle in Rhodes; while on 2 February 1382 Fr Pontius Iuvenis was rebotatus, Fernandez de Heredia opened a new inquiry on 11 for his misdeeds, to Cyprus.23 October 1381, this time into accusations brought against Fr Jacopo de Leone, Captain of Smyrna, by an inhabitant of that city, and on 8 December the Master appointed Fr Garganusio Trotto to act as Lieutenant at Smyrna for the time being; Leone was apparently found innocent, for he remained Captain of Smyrna.24On 23 March 1382 Fr Pere de Castellsent, a Catalan Hospitaller who had been deprived of his habit, was in prison in the castle of Feraklon at Rhodes. Like others among those accused, Pere de Castellsent had had a Levantine career. He was already serving in the Levant when he was received into the Order in 1347; he was Preceptor of the Duchy of Athens in about 1360; and he was at Rhodes in On 1366.25 24 March 1382 the Master ordered Ferrante de Vignolo, who held the Rhodian casale of Lardos in fee from the Order, to investigate reports that one Busotto, a turcopolusof the casale, was unsuited to his office; if necessary he was to be replaced.6 Such cases probably had no direct connection with the schism in the church, but there was undoubtedly serious unrest at Rhodes at this time and in 1383 the Order passed a statute specifying that condemned brethren should be imprisoned on Rhodes, Kos, or Kastellorizzo.27 Late in February 1382 at least fifty-six brethren and donats of the Orderfrom
22 Malta, cod. 321, fol. 210: text, with many errors, in S. Paoli, Codicediplomaticodel Sacro Militare Ordine Gerosolimitano,II (Lucca, 1737), p. 102. Robaud was deprived of the officium scagliarie at Smyrna, but by 25 February 1382 the accusations against him had been dropped (cod. 321, fols. 214v, 217). 23 Malta, cod. 321, fols. 210v, 212, 213, 216v. 24 Malta, cod. 321, fols. 174, 214v, 216; cod. 322, fol. 212. 26Malta, cod. 317, fol. 95; cod. 319, fols. 132v, 143; cod. 321, fol. 218. 26 Malta, cod. 321, fol. 218. 27 Delaville, p. 216, note 1. Since Malta, cod. 321 is the only surviving register containing magistral bulls issued at Rhodes in the period between 1366 and 1396, it is hard to estimate to what extent the

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


Rhodes, together with four from Kos, received orders or in some cases licences to return to their priories, the reason given being that the Order could not afford to maintain them in the Levant, which was probably true. Of these, fifty-one were Frenchmen, twenty-six of them from the Priory of Saint Gilles; five were to return to England, two to Italy, and one each to Germany and Cyprus. Even if some did not eventually leave Rhodes, the total number of brethren in the Levant, as well as the proportion of Frenchmen among them, was probably reduced considerably. Those from the Priory of Toulouse, seven in all, were instructed, significantly enough, to reside not in their own priory, which was susceptible to English and Urbanist influences, but in the Provengal Priory of Saint Gilles.28The nomination to the Priory of Toulouse was a source of trouble at Rhodes. Early in 1378 the prior, Fr Gautier de la Bastide, was acting as Fernandez de Heredia's Lieutenant in the West,29and in that autumn, while the Master was in captivity, he was in charge of the Hospitallers' operations in Greece.30 But the prior died early in 138131and in May a vicious quarrel was taking place Fr at Rhodes over the succession to his priory.32 Pierre de Hauterive, a preceptor in the Priory of Toulouse in 1365 and Preceptor of Avignon by 1370, was finally granted the priory on 18 November 1381,33but only after the dramatic exclusion of his Gascon rival, Fr Bertrin de Gagnac. Fr Bertrin de Gagnac was a typical Levantine Hospitaller. In 1365 he held a preceptory in the Priory of Toulouse in addition to the Bailliwick of Anoyira in Cyprus and the Castellanies of Feraklon and Fileremos in Rhodes;34later he served both in Kos and Cyprus. In 1378 or 1379 Gagnac acquired the French Preceptory of Jalles;35he also held lands in Rhodes, including the fertile casale of Neocorio which he was granted for his lifetime by Fr Bertrand Flote on 22 March 1379.36He was rich enough to lend the Order 1500 florins in April 1379, and he left Rhodes soon after as captain of a ship of the Order which conveyed
"troubles" of 1381-82 were the result of the particular problems of that year rather than normal incidents of administration. 28 Malta, cod. 321, fols. 18, 35, 50v, 67v, 86v-87v, 94, 137, 138, 148v, 172v, 205, 216v (18 February1 March 1382). 29 Malta, cod. 48, fols. 168v-169. Bastide was still in Avignon on 2 June 1378 (cod. 48, fol. 14); correct Delaville, pp. 204, n. 4, 207, n. 2, 210, n. 2. 30 Bastide was in the Levant by about September 1378 (Malta, cod. 48, fol. 22v); cf. Loenertz, p. 811. 31 Before 2 April 1381 (Malta, cod. 321, fol. 92). 32Malta, cod. 321, fol. 212 (13 May 1381). s3Delaville, p. 213, note 6. 34 Malta, cod. 319, fols. 39v-40 (31 December 1365); Gagnac was Preceptor of Perapecorada. On 18 February 1866, he also held vineyards and property at Damatria in Rhodes (cod. 319, fols. 270v-271). 85Gagnac acquired Jalles between 24 April 1378 and 8 March 1379 (Malta, cod. 48, fols. 168v-169; cod. 24, no. 16). 36Reg. Aven. 216, fols. 114v-115v (22 March 1379); on 8 March 1379 Gagnac was granted 23 modiates of land next to other lands he held at Damatria in the Castellany of Villanova in exchange for other lands held elsewhere in Damatria; at about the same time he sold a further set of lands in Damatria for 450 florins (Malta, cod. 24, nos. 16-17).


The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

the Priors of France and Auvergne to Provence. In August Gagnac was at Aries, and early in 1380 he was back with his ship at Rhodes.37 In 1381 Fr Bertrin de Gagnac was in some way connected with an obscure affair involving the drowning of the Drapier, who was normally the senior of the Spanish brethren at Rhodes. On 2 April Gagnac appeared before the Master, priors, and other leading brethren and presented a notarized document accusing Dragonino Clavelli, a citizen of Rhodes who became a trusted agent of the Master, of spreading a rumor around Rhodes that he, Gagnac, had played a criminal part in the Drapier's death. Gagnac claimed to have heard of this from one Caterina, widow of Nichola de Dono. The Order's judges interrogated Caterina, a certain Herina who was said to have passed the rumor on to her, and Caterina's friend Benecta; but, even after putting Caterina and Herina under torture, they found no evidence against Dragonino Clavelli and he was formally declared innocent of the charge on 19 April. Gagnac, however, presumably had some reason for bringing such allegations before the Council of the Order, especially as the rumor carried the implication that the Master, to whom the Drapier's lands and possessions had passed as a result of his death, was involved in the alleged crime.38The unscrupulous deeds Fernandez de Heredia had committed for gain in the past may have given color to such stories, but if there were those who were glad to believe or encourage them, to many at Rhodes this murky business probably remained a mystery. Fr Bertrin de Gagnac, clearly unstable in character, faced other accusations when he and Fr Pierre de Hauterive appeared before the Master and Council to claim the vacant Priory of Toulouse. They accused each other of "various crimes and defects" and Gagnac was said, inter alia, to have deserted his command in Cyprus and sailed to Rhodes without licence, greatly to the harm of the Order's men and goods in Cyprus. As a result, on 13 May 1381, the Master ordered an inquiry into this affair to be made in Cyprus, with a view to punishing Gagnac if he were guilty.39 Gagnac had also served in Kos, probably under the rule that each Hospitaller who went to Rhodes should serve in Kos for one year or provide a substitute to do so.40 Apparently he was suspected of embezzling moneys there,
87 Malta, cod. 48, fols. 160v-161 (20 April 1379), 161-161v (12 August 1379); cod. 16, no. 58 (13 March 1380). 38 Malta, cod. 321, fols. 211-211v (19 April 1381); the alleged crime was one in which quondam drapperiusfuit submersusob quod casalia et possessiones ipsius ad manus nostri dicti magistri posuimus et extrassimus.... It is not known who was Drapier between the Castilian Fr Mendario de Valbuena in 1358 and 1366 (cod. 316, fol. 301v; cod. 319, fols. 302-303) and the Catalan Fr Pere de Vilafranca who was in Catalunya and merely Preceptor of Corbins between April 1377 and May 1378 but who was Drapier by 30 October 1379, when he was still in Catalunya (Archivo de la Corona de Arag6n, Barcelona - Gran Priorado de Catalufia de San Juan; armari 24: Llibre de decretsde 1377 ad 1379, fols. 16-45, 50). This is consistent with the Drapier's death between September 1377, when Fernandez de Heredia became Master, and mid-1379, when he reached Rhodes. A payment made in Avignon between mid-1379 and mid-1380 to Raymon le drappier pour la despencequil fist a retournerde Rodez en avignon (Malta, cod. 48, fol. 22) was probably paid to Fr Ramon de Mallorca who was acting as Lieutenant of the Drapier at Rhodes on 19 April 1381 (cod. 821, fols. 211-211v). 89 Malta, cod. 321, fol. 212. 40 On this rule, see "Relation du pelerinage a Jerusalem de Nicholas de Martoni, notaire italien: 1394-1395," ed. E. Legrand, Revuede l'Orientlatin, inI (1895), 644.

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


for on 30 June Fernandez de Heredia instructed Fr Roger de Loubaut, Preceptor of Kos, to inquire fully into the incomes administered by Gagnac when he had governed the preceptory.41 Fr Bertrin de Gagnac was tried "for certain grave excesses and crimes he had perpetrated" before the brethren of the Convent assembled in the church of St John the Baptist at Rhodes on 2 November 1381. After the evidence both for and against him had been considered at length, the Grand Preceptor, Fr Bertrand Flote, announced the decision of the priors, the baillies, and the proceres or delegates of each langue, to whom Bertrin de Gagnac had appealed: he was to lose his habit and be deprived of the company of the brethren. "But when the Master, wishing to proceed to the due execution of this judgement, stripped the habit of the Order from the same Bertrin and unknotted the cord of the cloak which he wore, Bertrin, overcome by an evil inspiration and unmindful of his own safety, casting aside the fear of God and the reverence and obedience due to his own superior and Master, rushed at the Master with a knife, which he drew from his own sleeve, with intent to kill him. The Master, using all his strength, repulsed him with his hands to avoid being struck, but Bertrin with his knife wounded the Master in the thumb of his left hand. Whereupon, since Bertrin continued with all his force in his most wicked and impious intent against the Master, Palamedo, later Prior of Venice, and Hesso Schegelholtz, Preceptor of Freiburg, brethren of the Hospital, and others of the brethren who were there present, rushed to the defence of their superior and Master, slaying the said Bertrin there within that church."42 Fr Bertrin de Gagnac's readiness with a knife may have been premeditated, perhaps on the assumption that at sixty-five or seventy the Master would be too old and inactive to save himself; or his attempt on the Master may have been spontaneous. Hospitallers were normally deprived of their habit only for such grave crimes as homicide, treachery, desertion, heresy, vice, or the dissipation of the Order's property, and the deprivation was not necessarily permanent.43His sentence was not in itself serious enough to have driven Gagnac to make his desperate assault, but his position must have seemed hopeless. He had already been worsted in his dispute with Dragonino Clavelli; there were rumors that he had been criminally involved in the Drapier's death; he had failed to secure the Priory of Toulouse; he had been found guilty of disobedience, embezzlement, or worse; and he was being deprived of his habit, publicly humiliated, and - presumably - condemned to imprisonment. Probably, too, there were other issues
41 Malta, cod. 321, fol. 213; the crimes were committed dum ipsam preceptoriamlengoni (Kos) nomine thesauri regebat,but it is not known when Gagnac was in Kos. 42 This incident is only known through Clement VII's bulls of 5 and 12 September 1382, partly paraphrased here (Reg. Aven. 230, fols. 90v, 92-93), which absolved those who killed Gagnac from penalties thereby incurred; issued at Fernandez de Heredia's request, these may not give an impartial account of the incident or its background, and it is possible, though on the available evidence unlikely, that Gagnac's real crime was to circulate rumours, which could even have been well founded, about the Master's implication in the Drapier's death. 43On the system of trials and punishments, see E. King, The Rule, Statutes and Customs of the Hospitallers, 1099-1310 (London, 1934), pp. 83-85, 143, 159, et pass.


The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

at stake. The vague official references to "grave excesses" and "various crimes and defects" obscured the real nature of a puzzling affair. In the spring of 1382 Fernandez de Heredia left Rhodes for Avignon, the centre of the diplomatic, social, and literary world in which he had moved for so long. The Order's affairs demanded the Master's presence in Europe but, before he left, the brethren of the Convent hedged him about with a series of distrustful restrictions reminiscent of the statutes passed by the Chapter-general of 1379. An assembly of dignitaries which met in the Conventual church on 3 April 1382 included at least three Italians, Fr Palamedo di Giovanni, Admiral of the Hospital and Prior of Venice, Fr Lodovico di Valperga, Prior of Lombardy, and Fr Tomaso de Cocconato, Preceptor of Milan. A carefully notarized document recorded the Master's promises that he would send to Rhodes the moneys due, that he would not usurp the rights of the langues or of the Convent at Rhodes in the matter of appointments, and that he would not delay his return there. Furthermore, four brethren, Fr Bertrand Flote, the Grand Preceptor, Fr Pierre Boysson, Prior of the Conventual church at Rhodes, Fr Guillaume de Fonteney, Preceptor of Epailly, and Fr Hesso Schegelholtz, Preceptor of Freiburg-im-Breisgau, were to accompany the Master to supervise his activities, appointments, and expenditures, with powers to advise him and take decisions with him. Leaving Fr Pierre de Culant, Marshal of the Hospital, to rule at Rhodes as his Lieutenant, the Master sailed on 9 April and was in Avignon by July.44 After his arrival at Avignon the Master secured papal bulls, dated 5 and 12 September 1382, absolving all those who had been involved in the killing of Gagnac within a church from the excommunications and other penalties and disabiliOn ties they had thereby incurred.45 15 November 1381, within a few days of his a part in saving the Master's life, Fr Palamedo di Giovanni had been playing nominated Prior of Venice, and Pope Clement VII later granted a dispensation allowing him to hold the priory concurrently with the office of Admiral of the Hospital.46He spent most of the rest of his life at Rhodes, retaining his two offices until his death in 1401.47Fr Hesso Schegelholtz returned to Europe with the Master who made an unsuccessful attempt to impose him as prior on the Urbanist Priory of Bohemia; later he was nominated to the Preceptory of Kos and in1389 he left for the Levant, where he became an influential figure.48Fernandez de
44 Malta, cod. 322, fols. 278v-281; Delaville, pp. 212-215. Flote was at Clarenza in Greece on 6 December 1380 (Malta, cod. 48, fol. 37); Clement VII provided him to the Preceptory of Cyprus for life on 22 April 1381 (Reg. Aven. 226, fol. 32), and made him papal collector in Romania on 10 May (Reg. Aven. 227, fols. 4v-5v); he was granted an annual pension of 1000 florins from the Order's treasury on 19 February 1382 (Malta, cod. 321, fol. 232v) and was dead by 9 April 1382 (Delaville, p. 215,n. 2). 46 Reg. Aven. 230, fols. 90v, 92-93 (5 and 12 September 1382). The Order's accounts for 1382 mention an absolution sent to Rhodes pour lefait defre. Bertelin de Gangacq(Malta, cod. 48, fol. 68). 46Reg. Vat. 297, fols. 103-104. 47 Delaville, pp. 213, n. 1, 225, 229, 250, n. 1, 272, 278. Palamedo was both prior and Admiral on 12 January 1387 and 21 February 1400, but by 4 June 1401 he was dead (Malta, cod. 48, fol. 214v; cod. 330, fols. 122v-123; cod. 331, fols. 160-161v). Fr Simone Visdomini and Fr Niccol6 Orsini were Urbanist Priors of Venice (correct Luttrell, "Venice," p. 209 and note 134). 48 Delaville, pp. 219, 223, 230, 272; on 13 September 1382 and 17 May 1385 Schegelholtz was also Castellan of Rhodes (Malta, cod. 48, fols. 207v-208; cod. 323, fol. 149).

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


Heredia's trusted agent Fr Domenico de Alamania was apparently away from Rhodes at the time of the attempt on the Master's life, for on 20 September 1381 he was being despatched with a galley to Cephalonia. He probably received no income from his Preceptory of Naples, which the Urbanists must have controlled, but the other favors granted him included the Preceptory of San Stefano Monopoli in Apulia, the casale of Appollonia in Rhodes, and the Preceptory of Cyprus; in 1386 he was enfeoffed with the island of Nisyros.49Another of the Master's associates, the Dragonino Clavelli whom Fr Bertrin de Gagnac had accused of slander, was granted 170 modiates of land in Rhodes on 6 March 1389; and on 4 April, just before leaving Rhodes, Fernandez de Heredia constituted him his receiver there. Subsequently he managed large sums of money on the Master's behalf and became a wealthy landowner with wide possessions in Rhodes.50 Once in Europe, Fernandez de Heredia concentrated on the problems of the schismatical Hospitallers and the financial difficulties they caused. By December 1382 Urban VI had declared him "deposed", and in April 1383 Urban, a Neapolitan himself, nominated as "anti-Master" a fellow-Neapolitan, Fr Riccardo Caracciolo, whom Fernandez de Heredia had appointed Prior of Capua in 1381.61 Yet when Fernandez de Heredia held a Chapter-general at Valence in March 1383, the Italian brethren with him there included Fr Domenico de Alamania, Fr Giovanni Siffi, Prior of Pisa, and the proctors of Fr Palamedo di Giovanni, Prior of Venice, and of Fr Lodovico di Valperga, Prior of Lombardy.52Among those at Caracciolo's first Chapter-general, which opened at Naples on 28 March 1384, were Fr Francesco Pescecello, a Neapolitan whom Caracciolo had created Prior of Messina, and the proctors of two other priors loyal to Urban VI, the Prior of Barletta, Fr Lorenzo Vezosis, and the Prior of Rome, Fr Bartolomeo Caraffa. Caraffa consistently adhered to the Urbanist cause, although he had been created Lieutenant in the Priory of Rome on 13 April 1383 by Fernandez de Heredia, who had destituted the previous prior, Fr Piero Pignatelli, another Neapolitan who had gone over to the Urbanists. The Chapter-general at Naples allotted priories, preceptories, and incomes to Urbanist supporters and to those whom it hoped to win over; it dispossessed others who were clearly opposed to Caracciolo; and it made arrangements to collect moneys in Italy, England, Germany, the Priory of Toulouse, and other supposedly Urbanist parts from which a small measure of support was, in fact, forthcoming.53
49 Delaville, pp. 5, n. 7, 190, n. 3, 223-224, 272, 285, n. 2; Malta, cod. 321,fols.213v, 225v. In March 1382 Alamania was being sent from Rhodes to Italy, and in about 1383 he went on a mission to Flanders (cod. 321, fol. 206; cod. 48, fol. 107v). 60Delaville, pp. 224, n. 1, 272, 294; Malta, cod. 321, fol. 226 (6 March 1382), and throughout the Malta documents cited (e.g. cod. 48, fols. 212v-213; cod. 322, fol. 284v). 61Delaville, pp. 215-232, 248-249. 62 Malta, cod. 322, fols. 282-282v. Siffi was Prior of Pisa at least between 15 February 1382 and 26 July 1393, when he was at Rhodes (cod. 321, fols. 191-191v; cod. 327, fol. 46). Valperga, at Rhodes as Prior of Lombardy in June 1380 and April 1382, was still prior in 1402 (cod. 12, no. 31; cod. 322, fol. 278v; cod. 331, fols. 188v-190). 63 Delaville, pp. 248-252, using some of the information in Caracciolo's register (Malta, cod. 281). Pignatelli was Prior of Rome on 18 December 1381 (cod. 321, fol. 191); Urban VI later provided him to the Preceptory of San Stefano Monopoli, but by 3 April 1384 Caracciolo had destituted him as he


The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

The Urbanists achieved only limited success, even in Italy, and the great danger to Fernandez de Heredia and the Convent at Rhodes was not so much that the Hospitallers in the European priories would change their allegiance, as that Caracciolo provided preceptors and priors with an excuse for not paying their responsiones. Although there were representatives of most of the Italian priories at Naples in March 1384, they included only a few brethren who had held high office under Fernandez de Heredia. Caracciolo exercised authority over no more than a small minority of Hospitallers, and the Urbanists must have realized that they badly needed to establish their claims at Rhodes itself if they were to win prestige and to attract support and the payment of the responsiones by demonstrating that they, and not their rivals, were bearing the burden of the defence of Rhodes and the Christian East. In 1384 the Urbanists entrusted this task to a Piedmontese Hospitaller, Fr Ribaldo Vagnone.54While at Rhodes early in 1383 Vagnone, spurred on- he later claimed - by his poverty and the hope of gaining promotion, had conceived the idea of winning the Convent over to the Urbanist cause. Securing a licence to visit Jerusalem as a pilgrim, he sailed to Cyprus where support for Urban VI was growing and where he found an accomplice in another Piedmontese Hospitaller.55This was Fr Giorgio di Ceva, who was already in the Levant and in possession of the Cypriot casale of Apsion in 1365, when he was granted the Preceptory of Nice. He became a prominent figure in Cyprus, where the Order possessed extremely lucrative sugar plantations, and was Prior of Messina by 1373 when he was entrusted with the government of the Preceptory of Cyprus on behalf of its preceptor, Fr Daniele del Carretto.56In March 1378 Fr Giorgio was at Nicosia with King Pierre II.57He retained his title as Prior of Messina, and on 9 May 1381 Fernandez de Heredia sent a lieutenant to Sicily to govern his priory, while Ceva continued to control the Preceptory of Cyprus during 1381 and 1382, handling considerable sums of the Order's money there.58 Yet, when Vagnone reached Cyprus in 1383, Ceva had already received a bull from Urban VI nominating him administratorof the Preceptory and of the "whole island" of Cyprus.59
had returned to the Avignonese obedience (cod. 281, fols. 10-11); Fernandez de Heredia confirmed him as Prior of Rome on 16 December 1385 (cod. 323, fol. 170). On Vezosis, cod. 281, fols. 11-12. 54Ribaldo Vagnone (or Robaud Vaignon) was described as de Pedemontiumin Malta, cod. 281, fol. 33v. The following account of his plot is based on the report of his trial in Malta, cod. 24, no. 10. Since the accusations and confessions vary only slightly, and since in the considerable number of instances where the details can be corroborated by other documents they are in fact confirmed, this account can be accepted as substantially true. Paoli, ii. 102-104, published a small portion of the text with serious inaccuracies (e.g. Cilicia for Cicilia), and was largely followed by Delaville, pp. 252-254, who did, however, establish the correct date of the trial as 8 October 1384. Professor Lionel Butler of the University of St Andrews, in addition to providing much other assistance and advice, very kindly took the leading part in the joint transcription of this enormous parchment. 65Malta, cod. 24, no. 10; the accusation of October 1384 stated that Vagnone left Rhodes annus elapsus et plus. 65Malta, cod. 319, fol. 216 (6 April 1365); Reg. Vat. 269, fol. 232v (5 November 1373). 67 R. Predelli, I libri Commemorialidella Republica di Venezia: Regesti, in (Venice, 1883), p. 138. 68 Malta, cod. 821, fols. 200, 214, 216v, 230v, 231, 232, 235; cod. 322, fol. 283v. 69Malta, cod. 24, no. 10.

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


Urbanist supporters had been causing trouble in Cyprus for some time and on 8 May 1382, after news of this had reached Avignon, Clement VII ordered the Archbishop of Nicosia to arrest and imprison the Dominican Giovanni Fardini, Bishop of Cerenza.60On the death of Pierre II de Lusignan on 3 October 1382 the situation grew worse, for his successor Jacques I was in prison at Genoa. In the following February, the Genoese agreed to release him on conditions which strengthened their own position in Cyprus, but he was not to reach the island for another two years and during 1383 and 1384 the situation there remained unsettled. In fact, in August 1383 the Genoese were faced with so serious a revolt on the island that they considered calling on the Turks for armed assistance.61 Meanwhile, Fr Giorgio di Ceva's position in Cyprus was undermined at the Chapter-general which met in March 1383 at Valence, where there may have been doubts as to his loyalty. Among those present was the Italian Fr Giovanni del Pozzo who had considerable experience in the Levant and had served with Ceva in Cyprus. He had, for example, been at Rhodes in 1366 and he was in Cyprus in May 1381. On 20 September 1381 he lent the Order 2000 ducats and was granted the casale of Apsion and other lands in Cyprus, and on 24 January 1382 he was licensed to leave Rhodes for Cyprus whenever he wished.62On 12 March 1383 at Valence Ferna,ndez de Heredia granted the Preceptory of Cyprus to Fr Domenico de Alamania, fixing the annual responsiones at 5000 gold florins, and he sent Fr Giovanni del Pozzo, who may well have had motives for arousing suspicions against Ceva, back to Cyprus to act as Fr Domenico's proctor. Fr Giorgio di Ceva remained titular Prior of Messina, but though he had governed the Preceptory of Cyprus since 1373 he still held it only on lease, and on 12 April Fernandez de Heredia instructed him to hand it over to Fr Giovanni del Pozzo when the lease expired on 1 September; the Master also commanded the Order's brethren and vassals in Cyprus to do homage and fealty to the new proctor.63 Fr Ribaldo Vagnone probably reached Cyprus before Fr Giorgio di Ceva had heard of the actions taken against him in March at Valence. Vagnone persuaded Ceva that with the aid of the Italian, German, and English brethren Rhodes could easily be won over to the Urbanists, and he promised that he and his uncle, Vitrono Vagnone, whom he claimed to be a man of influence, would help recover the Sicilian Priory of Messina of which Ceva had lost control. Vagnone travelled to Messina with a licence procured from Rhodes by Ceva and with letters addressed by Ceva to Urban VI, to Caracciolo who was with Urban, and to others. Ceva wrote to Urban saying that he recognized him as the true pope and thanking him for the commands with which he had been invested in Cyprus. He explained, rather lamely, that he had not yet visited Urban, first because the boat in which he had originally planned to travel had not been available, and then because of the need to harvest the sugar on his preceptory, but he declared that at
Reg. Aven. 231, fol. 251v; on Fardini, Eubel, I. 261. Hill, II. 431-435; S. Manjgiante, "Un consiglio di guerra dei genovesi a Cipro nel 1383," Atti della Societa ligure di storia patria, LXXVI, n.s., in (1963). 62 Malta, cod. 319, fol. 271 (22 February 1366); cod. 321, fols. 212 (13 May 1381), 213v, 214 (20 September 1381), 216v (24 January 1382). 63 Reg. Vat. 294, fols. 150v-151v; Malta, cod. 322, fols. 283, 283v.



The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

last he was ready to come. He maintained that he knew of many secret Urbanists in Cyprus, that he could be of great use to Urban there,, and that he had kept secret his appointment as Urban's agent, biding his time until Urban should send an embassy to Cyprus. Then, he promised, he would see that the whole island went over to Urban, and that he and Vagnone, whom he proposed Urban should send back to Cyprus with instructions, would secure the obedience of Rhodes. Vagnone sailed with these letters from Sicily to Gaeta, and from there a Neapolitan servant took them to Caracciolo at Rome and announced Vagnone's own readiness to come to Rome and meet Urban. Next, he went to Genoa where he converted certain Hospitallers to the Urbanist cause and was rejoined by his messenger with the news that Caracciolo would present the documents to Urban and carry out Vagnone's other suggestions.64 Fr Ribaldo left Genoa for Avignon, intending to win favour with Urban and Caracciolo by spying out the affairs of Clement VII, of his cardinals, and of Fernandez de Heredia. At Avignon he cunningly gained the Master's confidence by requesting and receiving a licence to visit his preceptory at Sacile near Udine in the Priory of Venice, which he pretended the Urbanists had taken from him.65 This preceptory had been granted to him at Valence earlier in the year, on 12 March 1383, by Fernandez de Heredia, who at the same time confirmed Fr Lello da Roncastaldo, later Fr Ribaldo's accomplice, in his possession of two preceptories in the same priory at Forli. Some months later, Fr Ribaldo reached Avignon and was licensed, in documents dated 28 August, to go to rule his preceptory or to rent it, and to travel to Rhodes and return again when he wished; at the same time a Fr Odoardo Vagnone was licensed to go with him.66Fr Lodovico Vagnone, Preceptor of Padua and Lieutenant in the Priory of Venice, who was presumably a kinsman of Fr Ribaldo, had attended the Chapter-general of March 1383, but he was not, apparently, involved in Fr Ribaldo's plot. In April 1384 Caracciolo offered to confirm Fr Lodovico in the possession of his preceptory if he would come over to the Urbanist obedience, but on 20 July the "anti-Master" formally deprived him as an antipapistus et scismaticus of the Preceptories of Padua and Ferrara. Fr Lodovico remained in the service of Fernandez de Heredia, who on 30 December 1384 still recognized him as Preceptor of Padua and Ferrara and Lieutenant in the Priory of Venice.67 From Avignon, Fr Ribaldo travelled to Padua where he assembled a good number of Hospitallers from the Priory of Venice and elsewhere. They commissioned him and Fr Guidoto della Molza of Modena, who held various preceptories in the priory, to attend Caracciolo's Chapter-general at Naples as their procura64Malta, cod. 24, no. 10. 66Malta, cod. 24, no. 10. 66 Malta, cod. 322, fols. 210v

(12 March 1383), 211v (28 August 1383); on 4 January 1384 a Fr Jacomino Vagnone of Padua was licensed to go to Rhodes (cod. 322, fol. 213). 67 Malta, cod. 322, fols. 210v-211 (13 March 1383), 312v-313 (23 February 1384), 212-213 (80 December 1384); cod. 281, fols. 7v (5 April 1384), 49-49v (20 July 1384); cod. 48, fol. 97v (15 September 1384).

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


tors and to swear obedience on their behalf to Urban; several other brethren whom Fr Ribaldo had won over to the Urbanist cause went with him to Naples.68 At Naples he and Fr Guidoto had their procurations to represent the Venetian priory accepted and they swore allegiance to Urban and Caracciolo, together with a total of forty-three Italian brethren, most of them Southern Italians or Sicilians. Those who had accompanied Fr Ribaldo from the Priory of Venice apparently included Fr Lello da Roncastaldo, who was confirmed in his preceptories at Forll and Imola, and Fr Giovanni Vicheria, who was made collector in that priory and was sent on a mission to the Priories of Bohemia, Poland, Germany, and England. On 28 March 1384, the opening day of the Chapter-general, Fr Ribaldo was made part of the special council chosen to discuss business, and on 3 April his possession of the Preceptory of Sacile was confirmed.69 The plan concocted at Naples was that Fr Ribaldo Vagnone, travelling by way of Apulia, and Fr Lello da Roncastaldo, by way of Venice, should go to Rhodes and try to win over the brethren there, especially the Italians, Germans, English, and certain of the French. They were to sow division, despair, and discord at Rhodes, to spread scandal against the Clementists, and to promise the brethren that if they gave their allegiance to Urban he would no longer interfere in their affairs by creating Hospitallers, by providing to the Order's benefices or by usurping its incomes. If persuasion failed, threats were to be used. Fr Ribaldo and Fr Lello were to warn the Italian, German, and English brethren that they would lose their preceptories, and that the Order's properties in the priories controlled by the Urbanists would be sold to raise more than 60,000 ducats for the financing of an armed galley with which the Italian Hospitallers and the Genoese would conquer Rhodes and slay the recalcitrant; they also carried bulls directing the Archbishop of Rhodes to impose deprivations, excommunications, and an interdict on the Clementists. Vagnone was to receive considerable sums of money and, as he later confessed, he proposed that he himself should be made Procuratorgeneral of the Orderin Cyprus, while Caracciolo promised him "mirabilia bona" if he should succeed. Vagnone expected help from influential figures at Rhodes, including some of the Genoese community, and was confident of success.70The Urbanists at Naples promised to support the brethren in the Convent at Rhodes if they would recognize Urban, and they resolved to do nothing to upset them in the meantime.71But the Urbanists' threats lacked conviction; they had little power to enforce them in the West, while the chances of Genoese assistance were slight. The Genoese supported Urban and apparently even considered an attack on Rhodes in the period following the loss of their great ship, the Bichinona, which the Venetians had chased out of the harbour at Rhodes and captured in October
cod. 24, no. 10; on Molza, cod. 281, fols. 27v, 59v. Details in Caracciolo's register (Malta, cod. 281, fols. 1-9, 33v, 38, et pass.), corroborating cod. 24, no. 10, which mentions the grant of Sacile and the oath. 70 Malta, cod. 24, no. 10, cod. 281, fol. 3, confirms that Ribaldo was to go via Apulia, Lello via Venice. 71 Malta, cod. 281, fol. 4.
68 Malta,


The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

1379,72but in general the Genoese were well established at Rhodes and would obviously have been reluctant to risk provoking Venetian hostility there, especially as they had so recently concluded an exhausting war with Venice. Fr Ribaldo reached Rhodes and began his attempts to win over the brethren. He had little success and when he showed Caracciolo's letters to Fr Buffilo Panizzatti, Preceptor of Santa Eufemia in Calabria since 6 February 1384,73Panizzatti took them to the Council of the Convent. On being summoned to appear before the Council, Vagnone realized that he had been betrayed. He rushed to his lodgings where he broke the seals and tore up the bulls and documents in his chamber, throwing them into a latrine. He then swore to the Council that he had come to Rhodes for the good of the Order, and he advised the brethren there to go over to Urban and open negotiations with Caracciolo. He denied possessing other Urbanist documents, but the letters from Urban and Caracciolo to various brethren, one of them written in Urban's own hand, were found. Vagnone was sentenced to imprisonment but, by claiming that he had certain important secrets which he could reveal only to the Master, he secured his transfer to Avignon under the escort of Fr Raymond de Casilhac, Preceptor of Canabieres, and Fr Pons de Geys, Preceptor of Nebian. At Avignon, the Master handed him over to Clement VII and his trial opened in the papal palace on 8 October 1384. At first he denied the accusations even under torture, but he confessed on being confronted with Urban's bulls which proved his guilt. Fr Ribaldo was compelled to abjure his allegiance to Urban and to burn his bulls, and on 16 November he was sentenced to the loss of his habit, of his preceptory, and of his other dignities, and was condemned to prison on bread and water for twenty-five years.74Within a few months he was dead.75 The Urbanist cause declined after this failure at Rhodes, but there was still much changing of allegiances among the Italian Hospitallers, some of whom attempted to secure a double recognition of their positions.76The r6le of Fr Giorgio di Ceva was typical of this. In July 1384 he was at Lucera with Caracciolo who accepted him as Preceptor of Cyprus. In July 1385 Caracciolo considered him Prior of Messina, appointing him collector and procurator in that priory, and on 20 March 1386 Caracciolo formally granted him the Preceptory of Cyprus. Ceva was a successful trimmer. On 20 January 1386 Fernandez de Heredia, who still recognized him as Prior of Messina, also nominated him Preceptor of Cyprus, while six days later he instructed Fr Giovanni del Pozzo, whom he entitled guberOrder paid in March 1382 for letters taken from the King of France to the Genoese, que contre l'isle de Rodez ne voulsissent preuve aucune guerre ne faire ou empeschier aucun dommage (Malta, cod. 48, fol. 71). On the Bichinona, see Daniele di Chinazzo, Cronica de la Guerrada Veniciani a Zenovesi, ed. V. Lazzarini (Venice, 1958), pp. 218-220. 73 Malta, cod, 322, fol. 267v; cod. 24, no. 10, referred to him, apparently incorrectly, as Preceptor of Bari. 74 Malta, cod. 24, no. 10. Casilhac was nominated Prior of Saint Gilles on 6 October 1384 (cod. 322, fols. 124-124v). 76 Malta, cod. 322, fol. 212 (30 December 1384). 76 Delaville, pp. 248-264; the complex history of events in the separate European priories and of the Caracciolo administration could not be attempted here, even in outline.
72 The

The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384


nator in Cyprus, to hand the government of that preceptory over to Ceva, who returned to Cyprus and was still governing there, presumably with general consent, in 1401.77Fr Giovanni del Pozzo was another waverer for whose allegiance both parties seem to have been bidding. On 8 September 1384 a proctor swore obedience on his behalf to Caracciolo, who on 1 April 1385 granted him two preceptories at Milan, yet on 26 January 1386 Fernandez de Heredia regarded him as Preceptor of Milan and as gubernator the Preceptory of Cyprus.78Fr Lello da of Roncastaldo was probably arrested when he reached Rhodes; he lost his habit and preceptories for a while, but Fernandez de Heredia restored them to him on 16 June 1391.79After the death of Fr Ribaldo Vagnone, Fr Lodovico Vagnone swore obedience to Caracciolo at Genoa on 26 December 1385. Yet in February 1386 Fernandez de Heredia was proposing to send him on a mission to Greece; thereafter he apparently remained a Clementist and by 1407 he was Admiral of the Order.80 However, while certain brethren were changing positions with bewildering rapidity in their efforts to secure some personal advantage for themselves, many were consistently loyal to the Convent. For example, the faithful Fr Buffilo Panizzatti, who was acting as Fr Domenico de Alamania's procurator in Rhodes in September 1384, was made Prior of Barletta on 4 March 1395 and Admiral of the Hospital in June 1401.81 By the end of 1384 Fr Juan Fernandez de Heredia's position at Rhodes was secure. His political activity at Avignon, where he remained until his death in 1396, went far to overcome the breakdown in discipline in the European priories so that the Urbanist faction sank into ineffectiveness and the divisions among the Hospitallers were gradually healed. Some friction among the langues and some jealousy of the leaders who held the lucrative positions was inevitable, but the discontents of the years 1377 to 1384 were chiefly the result of the special circumstances of Fernandez de Heredia's election and of the schism in the church, both of which gave the brethren scope for intrigue and indiscipline. Even in some Urbanist lands, such as Italy, there was no clear schism along diplomatic or national lines, and although England was theoretically Urbanist, English Hospitallers and their responsiones continued to arrive in Clementist Rhodes. After the difficult beginnings of his Mastership and the debacle in Greece, Fernandez de Heredia was able, despite his great age, to employ his talents and energies in raising the men, money, and supplies which sustained the Order through two decades of effective resistance to the Turks, an achievement which culminated in the Hospitallers'
77Malta, cod. 281, fols. 49-49v (20 July 1384), 64-65 (16 July 1385), 82v-83 (20 March 1386), 93 (8 May 1386); cod. 323, fols. 209-209v (20 January 1386), 210 (26 January 1386); cod. 330, fol. 126v (19 March 1401). Pescecello still held the Priory of Messina on 13 August 1384, but on 13 January 1385 Urban VI ordered him to resign it, granting him a preceptory at Naples instead (cod. 281, fols. 50-50v,96). 78Malta, cod. 281, fols. 9v, 55-55v; cod. 323, fol. 210 (26 January 1386). 79 Malta, cod. 325, fols.,142v-143; in December 1385 Caracciolo's register recorded Lello as dead (cod. 281, fol. 80). 80 Malta, cod. 281, fol. 77v; cod. 323, fol. 157v; cod. 329, fol. 110v; cod. 332, fol. 136; cod. 334, fol. 120. 81 Malta, cod. 322, fol. 313 (bis) v; cod. 828, fols. 145-146; cod. 331, fols. 160-161v.


The Hospitallers of Rhodes: 1377-1384

occupation of Corinth and their successful defence of the Morea during the vital years of Ottoman supremacy which followed the defeat in 1396 of a great Latin crusade at Nicopolis.82 These notable successes depended on those Hospitallers -Italians, Germans, Spaniards, and Englishmen, as well as Frenchmen - who served in the Levant, and in the long run it was healthy that the French monopoly of power had been broken and that the Order's earlier dependence on the French element was significantly reduced. Fernandez de Heredia did not fill the Convent at Rhodes with his Aragonese kinsmen, but he was served by a number of non-French brethren who held responsible positions in the Order and continued to do so after his death. A Frenchman, Fr Philibert de Naillac, was elected Master in 1396, but those who ruled at Rhodes as his Lieutenant in the following decades included an Italian, Fr Domenico de Alamania, a German, Fr Hesso Schegelholtz, a Frenchman, Fr Luce de Vallins, and a Catalan, Fr Antoni Fluvia, who in 1421 himself became the next Master of Rhodes. An Aragonese, Fr Ifiigo de Alfaro, was Captain of Smyrna when it fell to the Tartars in 1402, while in 1412 Fr Peter Holt, Turcopolier of the Hospital and Prior of Ireland, was Captain of the great castle of St Peter newly built by the Order at Halicarnassos on the Turkish mainland opposite Kos.83 This broader, more international basis of support strengthened the Hospital during the fifteenth century, when it needed all the resources of wealth and manpower that could be mustered from the West to resist the Ottomans and Mamluks and to withstand two great sieges of Rhodes.
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH Details in Delaville, pp. 215-237; Luttrell, "Venice," 208-211. pp. 223, 284, 302, 349-350, et pass; A. Luttrell, "Aragoneses y Catalanes en Rodas: 1350-1430," VII Congresode Historia de la Corona de Arag6n: cronica, ponencias y comunicaciones, ii (Barcelona, 1962). On Holt, Malta, cod. 339, fols. 268, 269v, 271.
83 Delaville,