Gregory XI, Pope 1370-1378
Muntoni 14; Berman 213, PCGS graded AU-58
Avignon. GREGORV PP V(ND)EC’, Pope Gregory XI enthroned facing, raising hand in benediction and holding cruciform scepter. Reverse: + (crossed keys) SANCTVS (crossed keys) PETRVS (crossed keys), crossed keys.
Pierre Roger de Beaufort was the last man to be elected Pope by the College of Cardinals assembled in Avignon. Under the throne name Pope Gregory XI, he repressed the followers of the reformer John Wycliffe, in some cases burning them at the stake as heritics—a grim foreshadowing of the future Protestant Reformation and Papal response. Successes in the War of the Eight Saints (1375-1378) against a coalition of Italian states permitted Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome on January 17, 1377. In the year after his return Gregory XI fell ill and died. During the conclave of cardinals that assembled to choose his successor, the Roman mob broke into the Curia demanding the election of an Italian pope.