Pope Adrian IV

19th century portrait of Pope Adrian IV; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Hadrian IV
  • Nicholas Breakspear


Travelled to France at an early age where he became an Augustinian canon, and an abbot. Cardinalbishop of Albano, Italy. Sent by Pope Eugene III to organize the Church in Scandavia. Elected unanimously to the papacy, he was been the only English pope.

Adrian defeated Arnold of Brescia in 1155, and suppressed his supporters in Rome, Italy. He crowned Frederick I as Holy Roman Emperor in 1155, but fell out with him when the emperor, disregarding the Concordat of Worms, placed imperial favorites in the archbishoprics of Cologne, Germany, and Ravenna, Italy. To make peace with William of Sicily, who had invaded papal territory, Adrian acknowledged William’s titles to Sicily, Apulia, and Capua. This angered Frederick, who wanted the Two Sicilies, but it protected the Papal States against further imperial designs. Adrian was ready to excommunicate Frederick for his expressed intent to assume the government of Rome, but died before he could pronounce sentence.


  • c.1100 at Langley, Hertfordshire, England as Nicholas Breakspear

Papal Ascension


MLA Citation

  • “Pope Adrian IV“. CatholicSaints.Info. 13 April 2020. Web. 18 September 2021. <>