Boniface IX, Pope 1389-1404

Cf. Muntoni 2-4 (mintmark); Berman 237, PCGS graded AU-58

Rome. BOnIFAT PP nOnVS, Pope Boniface IX enthroned facing, raising hand in benediction and holding cruciform scepter. Reverse: + SAnCTVS (crossed keys) PETRVS, crossed keys.

Boniface IX was the name taken by Pietro Cybo Tomacelli when he was elected pope by a conclave of a mere 15 cardinals. The primary purpose of his elevation was to oppose the French-controlled Antipopes Clement VII and Benedict XIII in Avignon. He was repeatedly asked to convene an ecumenical council in order to bring an end to the Western Schism between Avignon and Roman claimant to the Throne of St. Peter, but refused. Instead he attempted to build up his finances through the sale of benefices and dispensations—a practice that would eventually spark the Protestant Reformation.