Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/161

This page has been validated.

apply poison to a fistula from which the pope was suffering. The plot was discovered, and on the trial of the three principal conspirators, two other cardinals, of whom Adrian was one, were named as privy to it. On hearing the charge against himself it is stated in a contemporary letter that he shrugged his shoulders, and burst out laughing. His complicity, according to the same writer, consisted merely in the fact that Cardinal Petrucci, being in company with him when the surgeon happened to pass by, had said to him significantly, ‘That fellow will get the college out of trouble,’ and he had neglected to give the pope warning. But the accusation did not take him by surprise; and when the matter was investigated in consistory he and the other cardinal fell at the pope's feet, confessing their guilt with tears in their eyes, and imploring his forgiveness. The pope seems to have taken a lenient view of their offence, and reduced the fine by which it was visited by the consistory from 60,000 to 25,000 ducats. But Adrian apparently felt that he was no longer safe in Rome. He fled to Venice in the disguise of a fool, and was never again seen in the imperial city.

It is possible, indeed, that he might have returned, for the Venetians were his friends and the pope inclined to be conciliatory; but he had also given great offence to Henry VIII and Wolsey. Three years before Henry had persuaded the pope to deprive him of his office of collector of Peter pence, and give it to the king's Latin secretary, Andreas Ammonius (see brief of Leo X, 31 Oct. 1514, in Rymer, Fœdera, xiii. 467). The arrangement, however, does not seem to have been completed, and Polydore Vergil, Adrian's sub-collector, urged him strongly to get it set aside. A letter addressed to him by Polydore on this subject was intercepted, and the writer thrown into prison. The sub-collectorship was then given to Ammonius, Adrian being for the time allowed to retain the office of collector. But when this new scandal arose the King of England was particularly anxious that Adrian should not go unpunished; and he sent repeated messages to Rome urging that he should be deprived not only of the collectorship, but also of the cardinalate. The former request was easily conceded, and his rival, Silvester de Gigli, bishop of Worcester, was made collector in his room. But deprivation of the cardinalate could only take place after lengthened judicial process, and the court of Rome was slow to move. Sentence of deprivation, however, was at last pronounced on 5 July 1518. The bishopric of Bath was at the same time taken from him and given to Cardinal Wolsey, who had previously farmed it of him.

It is characteristic of the times that his complicity in the plot against Leo should be accounted for by Paulus Jovius as due to a foolish prophecy by a fortune-telling woman that Pope Leo was to meet with a premature death, and be succeeded by an old man, named Adrian, whose place of birth was obscure, but whose great learning and abilities had gradually advanced him to the highest honours. Of course it is shown that the prophecy was fulfilled by the election of Adrian VI on Leo's death, though Adrian de Castello not unnaturally applied it to himself (Vitæ Ill. Viror. ii. 77). From this time nothing more is known of Adrian's history. By one account it is supposed that he took refuge among the Turks in Asia. But a more probable rumour is mentioned in Sanuto's diaries, that he remained in great secrecy at Venice till the death of Leo X in 1521, on hearing of which he at once left for Rome, but was believed to have been murdered on the way. The writings of Adrian de Castello are: 1. A poem entitled ‘Venatio,’ printed by Aldus in 1505. 2. A treatise, ‘De Vera Philosophia,’ Bologna, 1507. 3. Another, ‘De Sermone Latino et modo Latine loquendi,’ Basil, 1513. There is also preserved an elegant Latin inscription which he wrote on a young man, named Polydorus Casamicus, who was the pope's usher, and died at the early age of twenty-four. He was a man of high taste in art as well as in letters. He was known at Rome as ‘the rich cardinal,’ and built a fine palace there, in front of which he inscribed the name of his patron, Henry VII, willing that it should go after his own decease to that king and his successors.

[Polyd. Vergil, Hist. Anglic.; Aubéry, Histoire Générale des Cardinaux (cited in Biog. Brit.); Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 576; Rymer's Fœdera; Calendar of State Papers, Henry VIII, vols. i. and ii.; Calendar of Venetian State Papers, vols. i.–iv.; Pauli Jovii Vitæ Illustrium Virorum; Dispacci di Antonio Giustinian, ii. 107–8; Gairdner's Letters of Richard III. and Henry VII, Rolls Ser.]

J. G.

ADY, JOSEPH (1770–1852), a notorious impostor, was at one time a hatter in London, but failing in that business he hit upon the device of raising funds by means of circular letters, promising, on the receipt of a suitable fee, to inform those whom he addressed of ‘something to their advantage.’ This remarkable individual, who in numerous instances baffled the magistrates and post-office authorities, was, some months pre-

l 2