Three Roman Pontiffs of the 1500s and 1600s are among the many notable individuals of history to whom we are distantly related through our noble and royal ancestors. All three shared a descent from Princess Eleanor, daughter of King John of England. The first of them was LEO X (Giovanni de' Medici), who reigned from 1513 to 1521. A lover of fine things and good living, Leo X is chiefly known for his extravagant spending as a patron of the arts and sciences and to finance the new St. Peter's Basilica on the Vatican. Of far weightier historical and religious significance, however, was his 1520 bull Exsurge Domine which condemned the teachings of Martin Luther, followed soon after by Leo X's excommunication of the defiant Luther. The third pope in succession to Leo X was his distant cousin PAUL III (Alessandro Farnese), who reigned from 1534 to 1549. Paul III's reign was occupied with efforts to respond to the religious threat of Protestantism, which continued to spread throughout Europe. Those efforts included the founding of the Jesuits in 1540, the establishment of the Holy Office of the Roman and Universal Inquisition in 1542, and the convening of the Church's 19th oecumenical council at Trent, Italy, in 1545. As such, Paul III was the first pope of the Catholic Reformation. A later Catholic Reformation pontiff was LEO XI (Alessandro de' Medici-Ottaviano), great-nephew of Leo X, who reigned barely one month, from 1 April to 27 April 1605. Leo XI was a disciple of St. Philip Neri and, had he lived, would have continued the necessary work of reform in the Church. However, he was 70 years old at his election, and soon after his coronation he fell sick and died before the month's end.
The following chart illustrates that I am ninth cousins 17 times removed of Pope Leo X; 10th. cousins 16 times removed of Pope Paul III; and 11th. cousins 15 times removed of Pope Leo XI.
John Lackland King of England ________________________________|_________________ | | Henry III, King of England Eleanor=Simon VI de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester Edward I Longshanks, King of England Guy de Montfort, Conte di Nola Edward II, King of England Anastasia de Montfort=Romano Orsini, Senator of Rome Edward III, King of England Roberto Orsini, Conte di Nola | ___________|____________________________ | | | John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster Niccolo Orsini, Conte di Nola Anastasia Orsini=Giordano Orsini John Beaufort, Marquis of Somerset Roberto Orsini Francesco Orsini di Monterotondo Joan Beaufort=James I, King of Scots Pirro Orsini, Conte di Nola Orso Orsini di Monterotondo James II, King of Scots Giovannella Orsini=Giacomo IV Caetani Giacomo Orsini di Monterotondo Alexander Stewart, 3rd Duke of Albany Onorato III Caetani Clarice Orsini=Lorenzo I de' Medici | | | "il Magnifico" | | _________|_________ | | | | Alexander Stewart, Bishop of Moray Giovannella Caetani Pope LEO X Lucrezia de' Medici | md. Pier Luigi Farnese (Giovanni de' Medici) md. Jacopo Salviati | | | Margaret Stewart=Patrick Graham Pope PAUL III (Alessandro Farnese) Francesca Salviati | md. Ottaviano de' Medici | | Janet Graham=Dougal Campbell Pope LEO XI Sir James Campbell of Ardkinglass (Alessandro de' Medici-Ottaviano) (NN) Campbell=Duncan Stewart of Glenbuckie John Stewart of Glenbuckie Isobel Stewart=Walter Stewart of Gartnafuaran Robert Stewart (1655-1714) John Stewart Charles Stewart Margaret Stewart=John Anderson Rebecca Anderson=John Linn George Russell Linn Mary Rebecca Linn=James Monroe Shaw Sherman Linn Shaw Sherman Linn Shaw II Dolores Frances Shaw=Joseph Olar Jared Linn Olar