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The Tudor Society

July 14 – Christopher Bainbridge, a poisoned cardinal

Image: A 19th century portrait of Cardinal Christopher Bainbridge by G. Francisi, Queen's College, Oxford.
On this day in Tudor history, 14th July 1514, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Cardinal Christopher Bainbridge died in Rome of alleged poisoning. He was about 51 years old.

Bainbridge started his church career in Henry VII's reign and became Archbishop of York in 1508. He was chosen as an executor of the king's will.

In 1509, after Henry VIII’s accession, he was appointed as ambassador to Pope Julius II and carried on in this role when Pope Leo X was elected in 1513.

Following Bainbridge's death, his servant, Raimondo da Modena, confessed, under torture, to poisoning him on the orders of Silvestro Gigli, Bishop of Worcester, the resident English ambassador at Rome, who seems to have seen Bainbridge as a threat.

Bainbridge was buried in chapel of the English Hospice (now the English College) in Rome.

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Image: A 19th century portrait of Cardinal Christopher Bainbridge by G. Francisi, Queen's College, Oxford.

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    It has been suggested that the Cardinal and Rinaldo de Moderna a priest and steward to Bainbridge, who poisoned him, had been lovers.

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July 14 – Christopher Bainbridge, a poisoned cardinal