Pope Sixtus V
Historical Figure
Nationality: Italy
Date of Birth: 1521
Date of Death: 1590
Cause of Death: Malaria
Religion: Catholicism
Occupation: Clergy
Political Office(s): Pope
Fictional Appearances:
Ruled Britannia
POD: July-August, 1588
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Date of Death: Unrevealed
Political Office(s): Pope

Pope Sixtus V (13 December 1521 – 27 August 1590), born Felice Peretti di Montalto, served as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, 1585-1590. His papacy is known for its tremendous ambition in matters both foreign and domestic, and for several achievements, despite its short duration. He financed numerous public works projects that helped modernize the Papal States. His foreign policy generally looked towards the shoring up of Catholic influence abroad. He continued the excommunication of Elizabeth I of England, and pledged a substantial sum to Philip II of Spain should he successfully overrun England. The Spanish Armada did fail, and the money was never paid.

At the time of his death, Sixtus was not particularly well-loved by his subjects. Posterity has vindicated him.

Pope Sixtus V in Ruled Britannia[]

Pope Sixtus V was very concerned about the growing strength of England under the Protestant Queen Elizabeth and encouraged the Spanish King, Philip II, whom he had served as a legate prior to his election to the papacy, to overthrow Elizabeth. He rewarded Philip with one million gold ducats from the Vatican treasury when the first Spanish soldier landed on English soil. Catholicism was subsequently reimposed upon England, and Elizabeth was replaced by Queen Isabella and King Albert.[1]

Lope de Vega encouraged William Shakespeare to depict the deal between Sixtus and Philip in his play King Philip. As the promise had been made through agents rather than in a direct meeting between the Pope and the King, Shakespeare complained that the action would be very difficult to portray in a theatrical fashion. When de Vega argued that such a meeting would be useful to show how beloved Philip was to Sixtus, Shakespeare countered that Philip's own actions as depicted in the play would do that.[2]


  1. Ruled Britannia, pg. 133, PB.
  2. Ibid.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Gregory XIII
Succeeded by
Urban VII