Venice: 1486-1490

Pages 159-203

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 1, 1202-1509. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1864.

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1486. Jan. 9. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxii., p. 188. 508. The Doge and Senate to Hieronimo Zorzi, Ambassador in France.
By the ambassador's letters of the 16th and 17th December have understood the determination of the King and his Council to send two knights to Honfleur for the recovery of the cargoes of the Flanders galleys, and are much pleased that the ambassador should have sent his secretary with them, for the avoidance of any fraud or deceit in the restitution. Should the recovery be effected, it is the wish of the merchants and likewise of the insurers, for greater safety and to avoid the expense of land carriage, that the goods be sent by sea to England, to Hampton, if the ambassador be of opinion that there is no evident danger from pirates in those waters.
If unable to send the goods by sea, he is to forward them by the river to Rouen, the State not choosing them to remain in the power of the admiral at Honfleur. To defray the costs of shipment, &c., have ordered the consuls in London and Bruges to supply the ambassador on his demand with such moneys as required.
Although, in conformity with the wishes of the merchants and insurers, they bad ordered the conveyance of the goods by water to Hampton, nevertheless the heavy goods, namely the wines, cottons, and currants, are at any rate to be taken to Hampton by sea, and there to await the orders of the State.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 20. Neutrals, 13.
[Latin, 63 lines.]
Feb. 19. MSS. in St. Mark's Library, No. 177. 509.—to Pope Innocent VIII.
Giovanni Ambrosio de Negroni, with his partners who trade here, understanding that a Spanish ship with alum from Piombino was on its voyage to Flanders, made an agreement with English mariners for the capture of the ship, because it carried alum confiscated to the Apostolic treasury.
The mariners thus engaged attacked the Spaniard not far from England, both parties fighting for a long while and many being killed and wounded. At length the English mariners who upheld the interests of Christ's Vicar were victorious, and took the captured ship into port in England. A certain Florentine merchant, who also trades here, on hearing that the alum had been taken, either because it was his own, or for the sake of favouring some one to whom the same belonged, had recourse to his friends for their intercession with the King for a prohibition against the carrying by force into the realm of this alum, which had always hitherto been exported freely.
Gio. Ambrosio maintained, exhibiting a bull of Pope Sixtus, whereby all purchasers and exporters of alum from Piombino are excommunicated and heretics, that the Florentine should not be listened to, as he was excommunicated. In virtue of this, and by many arguments, Gio. Ambrosio showed that the alum was forfeited to the Apostolic treasury. The King, after hearing both sides, sent the alum for safe custody to certain persons at no great distance from the port into which the alum had been taken, until decision of the suit.
Whilst the alum was thus under sequestration, and the litigants at daily strife for superiority, I came to London and stated to the King that the alum of Piombino belonged to your Holiness, and how insolently and iniquitously the Lord of Piombino had behaved against the Apostolic see. I said how vehemently your Holiness took this matter to heart, and that you had given me commands about it for the King of France, for King Richard his predecessor, and for Duke Maximilian. Throughout his reply he ever expressed himself animated by the desire to favour the Apostolic see, but said he was new in the kingdom, which is governed by its own and ancient laws, and that he could neither oppose, infringe, nor abrogate. Last of all he referred to three objections, which placed Gio. Ambrosio in the wrong. First, that there was no prohibition against bringing alum to England. Secondly, that in his time no bulls had been read or published relative to the matter in his kingdom. Thirdly, that the capture of the ship, unknown to the King, and without his consent, was an act which could not be borne, and which ought not to remain unpunished.
To these objections, however, sufficient replies were made, and in my opinion the King would have given judgment in favour of the Apostolic see, had not the partisans of the opposite side relied most especially on the third charge, to which the Parliament assented, and argued that Gio. Ambrosio had committed the crime of lese Majesty, by suborning English mariners, unknown to the King, for the purpose of capturing Spaniards, who are allied by treaty with this King and kingdom. At length, after many days debate, the restitution of the alum was decreed, solely (as I said) on the third account; and it would likewise have been decreed that Gio. Ambrosio should be prosecuted for lese Majesty had I not interceded out of respect for your Holiness.
This sentence sorely grieved Gio. Ambrosio and me and his partners, by reason of our reverence for the Apostolic bulls which had decreed the confiscation of the alum aforesaid. Gio. Ambrosio and his partners are so distressed as to defy exaggeration; they spent no small sum, and laboured hard and anxiously with great men for the defence of this cause. Should you deign to write to this King to forbid the importation of alum from Piombino into this realm, and recommend these merchants to him, as well as to the Archbishop of York, and the Bishops of Ely and Worcester (the Chancellor of the kingdom), addressing a brief to me, charging me to do the same with the King and the aforesaid, I hope the King will accede to the will of your Holiness, whom he seems much inclined to gratify and obey.
From London, the 19th February, 1486.
Signature illegible.
[Latin, 61 lines.]
April 9. Marin Sanuto, MS. Lives of the Doges, in St. Mark's Library, ii. 262. 510. Capture of the Flanders Galleys.
On the 9th of April letters were received from our Ambassador in France, Hieronimo Zorzi, how he had recovered from the captured Flanders galleys 200 bales spices, 150 butts Malmsey, 30 bags of cotton, 40 casks of currants, which were at Honfleur; item, that in Biscay there were spices derived from the same source, to the amount of 2,000 ducats; and that the King is well inclined towards the Signory's indemnity, and means to give satisfaction.
Nicolo Griego, who is called Columbus, junior (Colombo Zovene), wanted to obtain a safeconduct from the King for three weeks to arrange a compromise; the King made answer that he would not give it him, unless the ambassador chose to do so as he did. The corsair then came to the King, who, having heard his apologies, gave sentence that he had unduly captured our galleys at a loss to our subjects of 200,000 ducats.
[Extract. Italian.]
April 20. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxiii., p. 6. 511. The Doge and Senate to Hieronimo Zorzi, Ambassador in France.
Arc of opinion that, in conformity with what was told him by Charles VIII., a great quantity of the plunder of the Flanders galleys may be found out of Honfleur; also, that as one half of the cargo of the London galley was taken to Britanny, cannot but persuade themselves that the property discovered there is small, and that if such diligence as fitting be used in the matter, much more merchandise and goods belonging to Venetian subjects will be recovered. Desire the ambassador to do his utmost to get as much as possible out of the hands of those royal commanders, whether at Honfleur, or in the neighbourhood, as likewise in Britanny and elsewhere.
Ask the ambassador as to the mode of removing the recovered plunder to London. Are afraid of sending it by the ships of the identical men who seized the galleys, or by those of their accomplices and colleagues. It would be very easy for the ambassador, by writing to the Venetian consuls in London and Bruges, to obtain vessels thence for the conveyance of the goods. Should this be impossible, he is then to send the merchandise and property to Hampton by the royal ships, taking such security as suggested by him through the King's messengers—if possible, without any cost, or with as little as possible, the State having unduly borne more expense and cost than enough; and the ambassador is to take care that one or more messengers from the said consuls as shall seem best to him, together with an agent of his own, do go on board the vessels and keep and preserve the merchandise and goods and consign them to the Venetian consul.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 58 lines.]
June 17. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxiii., p. 17. 512. The Doge and Senate to Hieronimo Zorzi, Ambassador in France.
Declare that the arguments alleged to the ambassador by Mons. de Graville (the Admiral) and other lords concerning the hulls and decks of the galleys seized are inadmissible. Should the ambassador find it quite impossible to obtain indemnity for the entire loss, and that the French insist on deducting the two items of hulls and decks, the ambassador is to accept the following terms:—The Republic deducts from its original demand 50,000 ducats for the hulls and decks, estimating the latter at 30,000, although not really worth more than 20,000; such goods as recovered to be consigned to the ambassador, to whom security to be given for payment of the rest of the indemnity, on such terms as shall seem reasonable to him, within four or five years at the utmost. All the goods recovered to be sent to Hampton as mentioned in detail in former letters.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 1.
[Latin, 50 lines.]
Oct. 6. St. Mark's Library. 513. John (Balue), Cardinal of Angers, to the Right Rev. Lord—.
Announces the translation on that day, by Pope Innocent VIII. in private consistory, as usual,—on his report, and by the advice and assent of the right reverend cardinals, — of John (Morton), then absolved from the tie which bound him to the church of Ely, to the church of Canterbury, the see being vacant through the demise of Thomas (Bourchier), Cardinal of St. Ciriaco in Thermis.
“From my own house” (at Rome), Friday, 6th October, 1486.
[Original. Latin, 16 lines, paper.]
Oct. 6. St. Mark's Library. 514. John Cardinal of Angers, to the Right Rev. Lord—.
Announces the translation on that day by Pope Innocent VIII. of John (Alcock) from the see of Worcester to the see of Ely, vacant by the translation of John Morton from Ely to Canterbury.
“From my own house” (at Rome), Friday, 6th October, 1486.
[Original paper, 19 lines.]
Oct. 14. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxiii., p. 37. 515. The Doge and Senate to Hieronimo Zorzi, Ambassador in France.
See by his letters how the whole business is protracted, and that it is sought to avoid the restitution of merchandise seized by commanders under the flag of his Majesty, who is linked to the Republic by alliance.
Desire the ambassador, should he on the receipt of the present letter find the commissioners appointed not inclined to make any compromise, to present himself to the King to announce his recall, declaring that the State could not but suppose his Most Christian Majesty would do justice; and then, after strongly urging the grant of the indemnity, he is to take good leave and return to Venice.
[Latin, 56 lines.]
Nov. 13. St. Mark's Library. 516. John Cardinal of Angers to the Right Rev. Lord—.
Announces the appointment this morning by Pope Innocent VIII. in private consistory, on his report, of a Bishop of Limerick.
Narrates how on the demise out of Rome of the late Bishop Thomas, the Precentor of Limerick, Richard Stakpoll, then in his 24th year, was appointed administrator of the see until he should attain the age of 27; and being now deceased at Rome, the Pope has conferred the vacant see on the Reverend Father the Lord John Dunmowe, Canon of Exeter, Doctor of Canon Law, ambassador and procurator of the King of England, the appointment being made by the advice of the cardinals and by apostolic authority.
Rome, Monday, 13th November 1486.
[Autograph. Latin, 25 lines, paper.]
1487. March 8. Senato Mar. v. xii., p. 107. 517. Decree of the Senate.
The consul in London, the nobleman Pietro Trivisano, has announced the arrival of two ships laden with goods, recovered from the Flanders galleys which were intercepted. Writes that he is awaiting orders what to do, as those goods cannot be kept there longer without damage or loss to the merchants and other injured parties. Put to the ballot, that three noblemen be elected to write to the consul about disposing of the goods aforesaid, and sending hither the amount realised, so that the parties damnified may be compensated each in proportion to his loss.
Elected by the College according to this decree on the 23rd of March, 1487:—
“Ser” Andrea Venier.
” Paulo Tiepolo.
” Paulo Trivisano.
Ayes, 89. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 8.
[Latin, 17 lines.]
June 13. St. Mark's Library. 518. Pierre d'Aubusson, Grand Master of Rhodes, to Sir John Kendal, Turcopolier, his Ambassador at Rome.
Refers to the question of the custody of Sultan Zizim; to certain negotiations with the Duke of Savoy; and to defensive preparations to be made against the Turks.
Rhodes, 13 June 1487.
[Original, French, 86 lines.]
July 5. Archives, Venice, Library. 519. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Shortly after we had marched an army against our enemies and rebels a report, erroneous and forged, was circulated in London and Westminster, and spread through many other parts of the kingdom, that we had been put to flight and our whole army dispersed. When this was heard some of those who, by reason of their crimes, enjoy the privileges and immunities of Westminster, being of opinion that after the commission of any nefarious crime soever they could have the free privilege of returning to that sanctuary (as we wrote more at large to your Holiness for the reform of enormities of this sort), took up arms for the purpose of plundering the houses of those whom they knew to be in the field with us, and mustered in a body for the commission of crime.
Amongst their number was one John Swit, who said,—“And what signify censures of Church or Pontiff? Do you not perceive that interdicts of that sort are of no weight whatever, since you see with your own eyes that those very men who obtained such in their own favour are routed, and that the whole anathema has recoiled upon their own heads?” On pronouncing these words he instantly fell dead upon the ground, and his face and body immediately became blacker than soot itself, and shortly afterwards the corpse emitted such a stench that no one soever could approach it. Verily we give thanks to Almighty God, who, of his ineffable mercy has exhibited in our kingdom so great a miracle concerning the Christian faith.
As some of the prelates of Ireland, namely, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Archbishop of Armagh, and the Bishops of Meath and Kildare (Darnensis), lent assistance to the rebels, and to a certain spurious lad, whom victory has now delivered into our hands, they pretending that the lad was the son of the late Duke of Clarence, and crowning him as King of England,—we implore your Holiness to cite them as having incurred the censures of the Church, and proceed against them at law.
In fine you will leave to others most positive precepts not to attack us thus flagitiously for the future.
From our Palace near the Castle of Kenilworth, the 5th of July 1487.
Signed: “Henry.”
[Original letter, parchment, 21 lines. Document published in Latin, A.D. 1861, by Mr. James Gairdner, from the Vatican Transcripts in the British Museum, “Letters and Papers illustrative of the Reigns of Richard III. and Henry VII.,” pp. 94 to 96.]
Aug. 17. St. Mark's Library. 520. Giovanni de Giglis, Collector of Peter's Pence in England, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Had written repeatedly of late giving all necessary advices, especially about the indulgences and subsidies against the Turk, showing that as yet nothing certain had either been promised nor yet expressly denied, though the business seemed difficult, most especially on account of the war with Scotland.
At this present the difficulties increase. The letters which the King requested the Pope to write to James IV. appear too much in favour of Scotland, implying that he recommended peace at the request of King Henry, who did not deem this honourable as he had just cause for war, for which he had made preparation, but was inclined to prefer a fair peace to a just war, for the avoidance of Christian bloodshed, though it appeared to him ignominious and disadvantageous for England to seek peace when he had such good reasons for hostilities. Encloses draft of a letter to be written by the Pope to the King of Scotland, which might facilitate a peace between the two countries, and render Henry VII. and the clergy and people of England more ready to bear a subsidy for defence against the Turks, of which there is not the slightest hope unless letters be written in conformity with his Majesty's wishes. The preparations for war are very great, and if hostilities occur there will be an end of the subsidy. Does not see that the second letters would be very much at variance with the first, the only difference being that they will not appear to have been written at the King's request, but of the Pope's own accord, for the good of Christendom.
Has written repeatedly to his Holiness that on account of ill health the King requests a dispensation authorizing him to eat meat on fast days. Supposes that the Pope has already granted these demands.
London, 17 August 1487.
[Autograph. Latin, 34 lines, paper.]
Aug. 23. St. Mark's Library. 521. There came into Venice the Count of St. Paul's, ambassador from the King of England on his way to Rome. Great honour was paid him.
[Sanuto; Autograph Lives of the Doges, in St. Mark's Library, Cod. d.cci., Class vii., p. 285.]
1487. Sept. 13. Lettere Collegio, iv. No. 1. 522. Hieronimo Zorzi, Ambassador in France, to the Venetian Signory.
Announces the departure from Angers to Paris of the Hungarian Ambassador, whose horse fell under him, so that he was obliged to remain a few days at Tours, where, according to his own account, he received letters from his King commanding him, whether he had executed his commission or not, to return with all speed. He therefore determined not to go to Paris, and arrived on the 7th of September at Laval, on his way to the King of France.
Endeavoured to ascertain from the Hungarian Ambassador the position of the negotiation with the King of France for the custody of the Turk's brother (Zizim). The Hungarian answered that unless his King (Mathias Corvinus) had received a positive promise of the custody of Zizim he would not have sent an ambassador. The King of Hungary expected his business would be settled in a fortnight, whereas four months have elapsed and the ambassador not yet dismissed. He (the ambassador) determined on going to the court, and not remaining there more than ten days, after which, be the business done or not he would depart, though he could not persuade himself that the King and his Council would break their promises. He remained there at very great personal inconvenience and at the great cost of upwards of 50 ducats a day.
Believed this last assertion, as the Hungarian Ambassador entered Laval with 15 sumpter horses and 10 mules, carrying his baggage, covered with scarlet,—had 136 youths, well mounted, and two very fine horses of his own. Was informed by the Hungarian that the French Court gave him hopes of the custody of Zizim; that the King had taken 26 days' time for his reply, and had sent a messenger to learn Zizim's wishes; that two years ago the Grand Master of Rhodes had promised to give up Zizim; that there was no written evidence of this promise, and that the promise was then denied. Had ascertained from a trustworthy person that Zizim was willing to go to the King of Hungary if the King of Hungary would not surrender him into the hands of Sultan Bajazet, his brother, for he said that in France he is a lost man, and that the promises made to him had not been observed. Stated to his informant that if Guy de Blanchefort, Prior of Auvergne, who had Zizim in custody at Bourganeuf, and kept him for Rhodes, advised the King of France to surrender Zizim to the King of Hungary, who wanted to deliver him to the Turk for the sole purpose of making an agreement with the Turk—in that case, Zizim having been placed in France, under guarantee that he should be consigned to none but the Grand Master of Rhodes, or to such as he should choose, the King of France would break his promise, and place Rhodes and the whole of Christendom in very manifest peril, and by such proceeding would ill become a most Christian King, the title of the King of France.
Endeavoured to demonstrate the disadvantages and perils which might result to Christendom, and the shame to the King of France, were Zizim delivered to the King of Hungary. Exerted himself to induce this individual, who was a person of importance, so to report to the King, to Madame de Beaujeu, and to the Lord Chancellor, that they might not deliver Zizim to any one but the Pope, as the universal pastor of Christendom. The said individual admitted the arguments, and offered, to the extent of his power and ability, to persuade the King and Madame de Beaujeu to the desired result.
Had elicited from another friend, a great prince, supposed to enjoy good credit with Madame de Beaujeu, that she gains much money by this affair, and that the King of Hungary has promised to make her a considerable present, besides what she has already had, before removing Zizim from France. Madame de Beaujeu is very avaricious, and does anything for money, regardless of the honor of God or of the Crown. To thwart this negotiation the Pope must promise her a considerable sum of money before Zizim be removed from France, otherwise, should the Pope take no farther steps, Madame de Beaujeu may, for gain, consent to Zizim being surrendered to the King of Hungary.
Had the Pope's ambassador (Sir John Kendal) come, it would have been advantageous, but there are no tidings of him. The King, the Chancellor, and other noblemen to whom I had announced his arrival, perceiving that he has not come, suspect that this has been a device of mine to thwart the negotiations of the King of Hungary.
The Hungarian Ambassador leaves today on his way to the Court. Will depart tomorrow, and by all ways and means endeavour to prevent him from attaining his object.
Ex Oppido Vallis (Laval), 13 September 1487.
[Italian, 75 lines.]
Sept. 15. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta v. xxxiii. p. 105. 523. The Doge and Senate to Hieronimo Zorzi, Ambassador in France.
Had received the ambassador's letters of the 15th August, and understand the difficulties in which the affair of the indemnity for the merchants who suffered loss through the capture of the Flanders galleys is involved. Surprised at such unexpected abandonment of all justice and equity, both by reason of the merits of the case as well as on account of the State's ancient devotion to the progenitors of the King of France. Do not however doubt but that the Republic's subjects will obtain satisfaction. Should the ambassador perceive that neither justice nor any act of his are of use, and that no hope remains of obtaining the suit committed to him, he is to employ all diligence, and remain with his Majesty aforesaid until he witness the result of the negotiations, both of the Bishop of Waradin, the ambassador of the King of Hungary, and likewise of the Reverend Lord Prior (sic) of England (Sir John Kendal), the nuncio of the supreme Pontiff and of the Grand Master of Rhodes, to whom the ambassador is to show every favour, in order that the Pope may obtain possession of the person of Sultan Zizim.
On the departure of those ambassadors from the kingdom, whether they obtain the aforesaid Sultan Zizmi or not, or should it chance that, before the departure of both of them, one of the two obtain and hold Zizim,—in that case Zorzi to declare to the King of France, although unable to obtain what justice and the Republic's devotedness required, nevertheless he did not doubt but that his Majesty would give satisfaction.
Proposed letter to the Ambassador aforesaid:—
The Reverend Lord Prior of England of the order of St. John's of Jerusalem, is on his way to the King of France, and we have given him credentials. The Prior has been sent by the Supreme Pontiff, and by the Grand Master of Rhodes, that he may negotiate the affair of Sultan Zizim. Enjoin you to lend him all your favour, so that the wish of the Pontiff may take effect.
Postscript.—Received your letters of the 15th August, and thereby learn the difficulty touching the recovery of the goods of our merchants damnified by the capture of the Flanders galleys. Greatly marvel at this, as at variance with justice and equity, and remote from our expectation. Doubt not, however, that our citizens and merchants will obtain that satisfaction which is their due. You will in no wise depart from the order and power which we gave you, but employ all diligence for the attainment of this very reasonable desire.
Ayes, 62–99. Noes, 6. Neutrals, 6–4.
[Latin, 75 lines.]
Sept. 28. Senato Mar. v. xii. p. 122. 524. Decree of the Senate.
The London factory, by reason of the constant and excessive costs incurred, owing to the change in the kingdom, and the frauds of many of your own subjects who have not paid what they owe to the factory, has debts amounting to about 8,000 ducats. This result is not only insupportable considering the small business done on that voyage, but, unless speedy and opportune provision be made, will compel our merchants to abandon that island to their great loss and detriment, and not a little to the shame of our Signory; and therefore it will be put to the ballot, that all our citizens and merchants who shall convey merchandise and goods of any sort soever, by our galleys and ships, or by any other foreign vessel to England, be bound to pay the quota and the loan to our consul in London, according to custom, the consul not to excuse any from paying what they owe for the quota and the loan, but to exact payment from all indiscriminately under penalty of 500 ducats.
The masters and writers of our galleys and ships to be bound within three days of their arrival to give a true account of their cargoes under penalty of 200 ducats.
The goods not to be consigned without a licence from the consul, he being bound annually to transmit the factory registers to the officials for the Old Accounts, showing the debtors and creditors, as decreed under penalty of 500 ducats.
As on the 24th February 1463–4, it was enacted by the Senate that all cloths and every other sort of merchandise exported from England (in Venetian bottoms) for Spain, Barbary, Majorca, and Sicily, were to pay five pence sterling in the pound to the London factory, which has not been enforced for many years owing to the negligence of the consuls; at the present time, owing to the debt of the factory, be it enacted that henceforth all exporters of cloths and everything else from England for the countries aforesaid do pay five pence sterling in the pound to the factory, in like manner as paid by them on the goods they ship for Venice, under penalty, &c. &c.
The consul to make diligent inquiry about defaulters through the London customhouse, &c.
All persons bringing goods to Venice in Venetian ships or galleys from the west, should they not exhibit a certificate from the consul showing payment of the quota, to pay the same to the officials for the Old Accounts, with a fine of 4d. in the pound, &c., &c., and on removing goods from the west, from the custom house, the regulations enacted on the 26th September 1480, to be observed.
The consul in London together with the Council of Twelve to elect annually two Venetian merchants, that they together with the consul's successor may revise the accounts of the factory; the merchants and consuls thus elected being authorized to reform such things as shall appear to them in their consciences detrimental to the factory.
The officials for the Old Accounts in Venice to remit periodically to the consul in London all moneys levied for account of the factory.
Finally, the consul in London within four years from this time to pay the balance of the said quota, under penalty of 1,000 ducats and ineligibility to any office for five years; future consuls to pay the balance of the quota every two years, in like manner.
Ayes, 93. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 10.
The letters were made out on the 11th of October 1487.
[Italian, 63 lines.]
Dec. 17. St. Mark's Library. 525. The Cardinal of Angers to the Eight Rev Father in Christ and Lord—.
Announces the appointment by Pope Innocent VIII. of Pietro de Monte Molin to be Bishop of Morocco, and licensing him to receive consecration in Oxford or elsewhere.
Rome, 17 December 1487.
[Original, paper, 14 lines.]
1488. Jan. 4. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxiii. p. 122. 526. Proposed Letter from the Doge and Senate to Hieronimo Zorzi, Ambassador in France.
Had given him permission to return home some eight days after the departure from France of the Grand Prior (sic) of England (Sir John Kendal) and the Bishop of Varadino; but as Sir John Kendal, after executing his Holiness's commission, continued to remain in France on account of fresh orders received from his own King of England, the ambassador is to take leave of his Most Christian Majesty immediately, recommending to him the affair of the indemnity, and return to Venice together with his secretary.
On his way home, if within one day's journey of him, is to visit the “condottiere,” Jacopo Galeotto, inquiring about his eyesight in the Signory's name, and offering him military service.
Ayes, 43.
[Latin, 33 lines.]
Jan. 10. Senato Mar. v. xii. p. 129. 527. Decree of the Senate.
Received a letter from the captain, Andrea Sanudo, declaring that for want of 4,000 ducats, the galleys are unable to depart.—Put to the ballot, that 4,000 ducats be raised by allowing the contractors a discount of 20 ducats per cent. on the freight of their wools; of 24 ducats on cloths; and of 4¾ ducats on tin; and should they themselves not be freighters, any other person to make the deposit in their name, and take the benefit. Should it be impossible to raise the money on these terms, the State attorneys, under penalty of 1,000 ducats each, to compel the partners and securities of said galleys, namely the “Dandola” and the “Moceniga,” to disburse 4,000 ducats, or fitting and sufficient bills of exchange to that amount payable at sight.
Moreover, as owing to the duty recently imposed by the King the galleys cannot be dispatched within the period assigned for their demurrage, nor have they even begun to load, most especially as the merchants and masters were in hopes of some messenger with letters from our Signory to the King aforesaid on account of the above written duty, &c. &c.,—be it enacted, to protract the period of “demurrage” for 25 days after the arrival of the messenger.
Moreover, that letters be written to the King of England and to other quarters where necessary about the duty, as shall seem fit to the College.
The captain authorized to have the galley “Dandola” repaired, if necessary.
Ayes, 131. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 5.
[Italian, 41 lines.]
May 12. St. Mark's Library. 528. Cardinal of Angers to the Right Rev. Father -.
Announcing the appointment by Pope Innocent VIII., this day of the Rev. Father Augustus Chirche, Abbot of St. Mary of Thame, diocese of Lincoln, to be Bishop of Lidda, in partibus Infidelium.
Rome, 12 May 1488.
[Original, paper, 18 lines.]
May 16. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. Cod. clxxvi. No. 47. 529. Prothonotary Anthony Flores, Papal Nuncio in France, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Ambassadors from England and from Britanny had been sent to the King of France to treat of peace.
Ex Magduni (Mehun), 16 May 1488.
[Holograph. Latin, 12 pages folio.]
May 17. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxiii. p. 137. 530. The Doge and Senate to Giovanni Pietro Stella, Venetian Secretary in France.
Since the return of the ambassador Zorzi have only received one of his letters. Surprised at such delay, especially as he has no lack of messengers by way of Milan, and through other channels. He is to write with the diligence usually employed by him on other occasions. Sends the present courier post haste, because informed by Pietro Malipiero, captain of the galleys on their voyage to Flanders, by letter dated in the port of Hampton on the 5th of April last, that in those seas there were twenty-five French ships, fitted out at Honfleur, commanded by one St. Germain, who was watching to attack the galleys, so that, unless the captain took precautionary measures, some accident might occur. Had likewise heard that these French ships waited for the next squadron of the Republic's galleys on its return from the eastward. Are no less surprised than troubled and displeased at this intelligence, as it ill becomes the peace and friendship existing between France and the Republic, still less the loving words of his most Christian Majesty, and the offers made by him and his whole court to the ambassador, as very well known to the secretary, who was present; a promise having also been given that no ships soever should be fitted out in that kingdom, unless they gave sufficient and fitting security not to damage Venetian subjects, under which guarantee they all were navigating freely and in security.
Desire him to demand audience of the King,—to complain to him accordingly of the evil intention of his captain, and of his project against the two squadrons, the one going and the other returning,—and to request him to provide for the observance of the mutual agreements, so that the galleys may navigate in safety.
To this effect the secretary is to use every exertion, and likewise to obtain written safeconducts and mandates, addressed to said royal commander and others, as shall seem fit. These he is to forward instantly, regardless of expense, by the speediest messengers to the captain of the Flanders galleys at Hampton, giving him notice of what has been done, together with a warning no more to rely on any safeconducts or mandates soever, than if he had nothing of the sort, and to steer his course with all care and caution, for the avoidance of any disaster.
As the King may chance to be going from one place to another, send the secretary a bill of exchange for 200 ducats, lest from lack of money he be prevented following him and obeying these most important orders.
Letters in accordance with the foregoing to be sent to the two captains of the Flanders galleys on their outward and homeward voyage; to the Bishop of Trau, requesting him to act as the colleague of Giovanni Pietro Stella, the secretary. If the latter by any accident should not find himself on the spot, the Bishop is then requested to open the present letters, and carry out their contents.
Moreover, that the King of England be written to in this matter as shall seem fit to the College.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 1.
[Latin, 58 lines.]
July 16. Archives, Venice, Library. 531. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Has written often to his Holiness touching the ability and merits of John de Giglis, his Holiness' collector in England. Entreats his Holiness, as many English subjects require dispensations and cannot afford to go to Rome or to send thither, that the collector may be invested with the powers exercised by other collectors of the Apostolic see in England.
Windsor, 16th day of July 1488.
Signed: “Henricus Rex.”
[Original, parchment. Latin, 11 lines.]
1488. Aug. 6. St. Mark's Library. 532. Lorenzo de' Medici to Pope Innocent VIII.
Robert the Englishman, the bearer of the present letter, is going to his Holiness to obtain a brief to the King of England, for the purpose which his Holiness will learn from the Florentine ambassador and from Robert. Beseeches his Holiness to give Robert audience and grant his request, as the Queen (of England) has written very warmly on this matter.
Florence, 6th of August 1488.
Signed: “Lorenzo de Medici.”
[Original. Italian, 7 lines, paper.]
Aug. 20. St. Mark's Library. 533. The Knights of Rhodes, Guy de Blanchefort, Prior of Auvergne, and Sir John Kendal, Turcopolier, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Acquaint the Pope that the affair of the brother of the Grand Turk (Zizim) is in a fair way, and permission may be conceded to remove Zizim to some castle subject to the Roman Church near the sea, and to keep him there until the arrival of a Rhodian ship, and until other necessary arrangements be made for his removal. Request the Pope to consult the Cardinal of Anjou, the “Protector” of the Order of St. John's, on the subject.
From Bourganeuf, the 20th of Ausrust 1488.
[Original, Latin, 11 lines, paper.]
Sept. 20. St. Mark's Library. 534. Knights of Rhodes to Pope Innocent VIII.
A long and interesting letter concerning the removal of Sultan Zizim from France to Rome.
Bourganeuf, in Auvergne, 20th Sept. 1488.
Signed: “The Prior of Auvergne and the Turcopolier of Rhodes—“Fra” John Chendal, “Fra” G. Blanchefort.”
[Original. Italian, 84 lines, paper.]
Oct. 5. MS. in St. Mark's Library, No. 178. 535. Giovanni de Giglis, Collector of Peter's Pence in England, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Announces receipt of a brief dated 3rd June, desiring him to apply to the Archbishop of Canterbury for redress against some Franciscan Friars, who last Lent, under pretence of certain indulgences, collected pecuniary alms in England. Had the brief been delivered in due time, its injunctions would have been most punctually obeyed; but now, as the Friars have long since betaken themselves with the money to Paris, whence they came, it cannot be recovered here, though otherwise all parties would have endeavoured, as fitting to obey the papal order; and the collector expresses his belief that the money might be easily recovered from the convent in Paris, which it was said to have reached. The death of the Duke of Britanny is reported, and that well nigh the whole province is already in the hands of the French, or about to pass into their possession. Flanders is in the situation known to your Holiness. At Calais, an English city in France across the Channel, a French plot has been discovered, about which a great stir was made at first, but now it does not seem so perilous an affair. The King has reinforced the garrison with 1,500 soldiers, artillery and stores. There are ambassadors here from the Commons of Flanders, and some are also expected from the King of the Romans. Anticipates the renewal of commerce which had been interrupted for many years; but is apprehensive of war with France. Negotiations are on foot for an alliance between the King of England and the King of Castile, and for the marriage of their children; though this is not yet public. Henry VII. expects to hold a parliament shortly, in which all matters will be discussed, and the collector will then transmit more certain intelligence. The Archbishop of Canterbury (John Morton) is prime minister, well adequate to everything, excellently deserving of the Apostolic see and of his Holiness, and worthy of honour. Cannot either omit mentioning the very good will borne towards the Pope by the King's Procurator at the Roman court, the Bishop of Limerick (John Dunmow), which entitles him to commendation, &c.
London, 5 Oct. 1488.
[Latin, 34 lines.]
Oct. 27. St. Mark's Library. 536. John Balue, Cardinal of Angers, to -.
Writes that when the see of Ardfert became vacant by the death of Maurice Stack, who died “extra Romanam Curiam,” Pope Pius II. appointed first, the late John Stack, who having neglected to receive consecration, forfeited his right to the bishopric, which was then conferred on John Pig. After a while John Pig resigned the see into the hands of Pope Sixtus IV., who conferred the vacant see on Philip Stack, who obtained investiture and was consecrated. John Stack then asserted that he had in due season obtained consecration, and a dispute concerning the government and administration of that church arose between John Stack and Philip Stack, each of them acting as Bishop of Ardfert, when John Stack died, extra Romanam Curiam; whereupon, on the 27th October 1488, in his secret consistory, Pope Innocent VIII., on the report of the Cardinal of Angers, reinstated the said Lord Philip Stack as Bishop of Ardfert, &c. &c.
Signed: “Servant, John Cardinal of Angers, with my own hand, Rome, 27 October, 5th year of our Lord's pontificate.”
[Original. Latin, 30 lines, paper.]
Nov. 10. Archives, Venice, Library. 537. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Has already written often touching the Reverend Lord John (Morton), Archbishop of Canterbury, and most earnestly recommends him to his Holiness for the dignity of the cardinalate. And as, contrary to the expectation of himself and of his kingdom, this promotion has been delayed, requests that at the next creation of cardinals, which he has heard is doubtless to take place towards Christmas, his Holiness will be pleased to promote the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury to be cardinal.
His Holiness would thus do a thing most gratifying to the King and the realm, seeing that they have been so long without such primary' light of ecclesiastical dignity, as much to inconvenience the commonwealth.
From our palace at Westminster, 10th day of November 1488.
Signed: “Henricus Rex.”
[Original. Latin, 11 lines, parchment.]
Nov. 12. Archives, Venice, Library. 538. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
The Lord Adrian, appointed nuncio for the kingdom of Scotland, being for just reasons recalled from his Scottish journey, has remained some days in this realm. Glad to see him, on account of his own merits and virtues, and out of regard and consideration for his Holiness. Begs his Holiness to confer fitting benefits and favours on him, and to grant him that marriage dispensation about which his Holiness is informed.
From our palace at Westminster, 12th day of November 1488.
Signed “Henricus Rex.”
[Original. Latin, 11 lines, parchment.]
Nov. 12. Archives, Venice, Library. 539. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Requests him to include, in the next creation of cardinals, his own kinsman, Lorenzo Cibo, Archbishop of Benevento and Warder of the Castle of St. Angelo.
Westminster, 12th day of November 1488.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 10 lines, parchment.]
Nov. 12. Archives, Venice, Library. 540. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Understanding that there is to be a creation of cardinals, recommends for inclusion in it, Nicholas (Cibo), Archbishop of Cosenza, president of the Apostolic treasury.
Dated, signed, and addressed like the foregoing.
[Original. Latin, 8 lines, parchment.]
Nov. 12. Archives, Venice, Library. 541. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Recommends the Pope's kinsman, the prothonotary Battista de' Pinelli, as worthy of being raised to the rank of cardinal.
Dated, signed, and addressed like the foregoing,
[Original. Latin, 15 lines, parchment.]
Nov. 12. St. Mark's Library. 542. Richard [Fox], Bishop of Exeter, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Dom. Adrian, appointed nuncio to Scotland, has been well received in England, and the Bishop showed him all good will and affection.
London, 12 November 1488.
Signed: “Ricardus Exonien. presbyter.”
[Original. Latin, 8 lines, paper.]
Nov. 13. Archives, Venice, Library. 543. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Recommends Dom. Falco de Sinibaldi, prothonotary, and beseeches his Holiness, at the next creation of cardinals, which according to report will take place before Christmas, to promote him to that grade.
Westminster, the 13th day of November 1488.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 16 lines, parchment.]
Nov. 18. Senato Mar. v. xii. p. 157. 544. Decree of the Senate concerning the Malmsey Trade with England.
It is necessary to provide that all foreign ships and barques which trade every year to Candia to load Malmseys for the west, to the detriment of Venetian ships, do no longer trade, but make way for such Venetian ships as go on the Flanders voyage.
And as the said ships take low freights, that is to say, four ducats per butt, while Venetian ships cannot load under seven ducats, it is put to the ballot, that those who load wines in Candia on board foreign ships after 1st March 1489, for conveyance westward, do pay a duty in Candia (in addition to the ordinary duties) of four ducats on each butt containing 48 Venetian gallons, which moneys to be expended on the fortifications of Candia.
Of the payment of this duty shippers of Malmseys for the west must obtain certificates. If they have none and be fallen in with by the Senate's galleys, their ships and cargo will be confiscated, half to go to the captor, and half to the governor who passes sentence; but they may not make any division without licence from the Signory. The present decree may not be repealed, nor any amendment to it proposed save by a majority of three fourths of the College, under penalty of 1,000 ducats to be levied by the State attorneys.
For execution of this present order, to the effect that Venetian ships do load Malmseys for the west, and that Venetians may build large ships, provision must be made that ships loading Malmseys may have suitable terms on their return from the west.
Be it enacted, with regard to that the Signory's ships and those of its subjects which convey Malmseys to the west, and on their return load salt at Ivica for this town, whereas the salt office pays one ducat ready money per bushel, and seven ducats by instalments, so for the future they shall receive four ducats per bushel ready money.
Our forefathers always took care that there should be a good number of large ships in this city for the maintenance of the navy, but at present there is no ship of upwards of one thousand tons burden.
It is therefore put to the ballot, that those who build in this city a ship of the burden of a thousand tons below deck, do receive the bounty of 3,000 ducats, and as much more at the same rate as the burden below deck shall exceed a thousand tons. These moneys to be paid, half when the ship is groined and planked externally, and half when launched and black in the water.
Ayes, 74.
Proposed amendment, that this present Act concerning the exportation of wines from Candia take effect in August next.
Ayes, 46.
Nov. 18. Senato Mar. v. xii. p. 156. 545. Motion made in the Senate concerning the shipment at Candia of wines for Western Europe in foreign bottoms, to the utter rain of the Venetian navy.
[Latin, 66 lines.]
Dec. 29. Senato Mar. 546. Decree of the Senate.
For election of a successor to captain Piero Malipiero, deceased, from amongst merchants actually resident in England. He is to receive a salary of 100 ducats for the voyage (the sum to he raised by an average), and to take the command within four days after the arrival of the messenger in London. Should he not do this, the next nominee to take his place.
In order to provide for the payment of the crews, officials, and craftsmen of the galleys, the captain now appointed to pay a quarter's wages where due, &c., estimating the ducat, in England, at the exchange of the day; so, including money paid at Venice, at Sluys, and in England, they will receive three quarters' pay. To obtain funds, be the Act passed on 13th October last renewed, allowing a discount to merchants contracting for the loan, thus: for each bale of cloth loaded 12 crowns, at the rate of 40 pence per crown; for each bag of wool 3 crowns; for each piece of tin, half a crown, &c.
Ayes, 96. Noes, 43. Neutrals, 24.
Elected captain of the Flanders galleys “Ser” Alvise Moro.
Second nominee Pietro Justiniano.
Third nominee Giovanni Alvise Duodo.
[Italian, 43 lines.]
Dec. St. Mark's Library. 547. Encounter between English and Venetian Ships.
On Christmas Day, the 25th, whilst the Doge and the ambassadors were attending the sermon in St. Mark's Church, letters arrived from London addressed to the Florentine, Giovanni Frescobaldo, a money changer and usurer, dated 3rd November, stating that the Flanders galleys, Piero Malipiero captain, having left Antwerp for Hampton on 26th October, when sailing off St. Helen's, were fallen in with by three English ships, which wanted them to strike sail. The galleys, seeing they were English, drew nigh, saying they were friends. Then the English endeavoured to take the galleys, but the master blew his whistle and beat to quarters, and the crews killed eighteen of the English, the ships pursuing the galleys into Hampton harbour. The captain wrote about the injury done him to the King, who sent the Bishop of Winchester to say he was not to fear, as those who had been killed must bear their own loss, and that a pot of wine would settle the matter.
Subsequently the Venetian ambassador at Milan, Almorò Barbaro, wrote that Captain Piero Malipiero had died; so on the 29th December Alvise Moro was elected in his stead, and accepted the office.
[Sanuto's Autograph Lives of the Doges, vol. iii., p. 310.]
1489. Jan. 2. Venetian Archives, Library. 548. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
The sword and hat sent to us by you we received with great joy and gladness.
Touching the crusade and the alum, concerning which two matters Persio Malvezzi explained your Holiness's desire, our wish is to do your bidding. As to the crusade, however, our subjects at this moment are so burdened by payment of a subsidy for urgent public concerns, that we see at once the impossibility of effecting this, save at great inconvenience, and with much murmuring from the people; though should an opportunity present itself, we would willingly accede to your wishes; and desire you to exhort by letter the King of the French, and other Christian princes our neighbours, to grant the Roman Church a similar subsidy, so that the burden be not borne by our realm alone.
Palace at the Charter House (Shene), the second day of January 1488(–89).
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 19 lines, parchment.]
Jan. 15. Archives, Venice, Library. 549. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Our affection for the memory of James King of Scots causes us not only to lament the shameful murder of that prince, but to commiserate his faithful attendants, who by no fault of theirs have incurred the calamity of exile, and are unjustly punished. Therefore, as Sir John Roos, of Montgrinen, knight, a native of Scotland, illustrious for military science and moral probity, and who was sent ambassador to us to perpetuate the peace between ourselves and his late prince, has been doomed to exile—not from any fault or misdemeanor, but merely for this one reason, that like a faithful servant he adhered to his sovereign—we implore you to write to the King now reigning over the Scots to receive Sir John Roos into his kingdom and restore him to his former estate.
Westminster, 15 January 1488(–89).
Signed: “Henricus Rex.”
[Original. Latin, 10 lines, parchment.]
Jan. 28. St. Mark's Library. 550. The Collector Giovanni de Giglis to Pope Innocent VIII.
Wrote not many days ago touching the arrival of Persio Malvezzi, the Pope's chamberlain, with the blessed sword and cap of maintenance which were sent to the King, and about his honourable reception. It certainly could not have been more honourable. Obtained audience of the King through the Archbishop of Canterbury. Announced the Pope's commissions. The Archbishop and the Bishop of Exeter, who are all powerful with him, stood by and favoured us, especially the Archbishop, who in all the affairs of your Holiness exerts himself with singular affection. By reason of much public business have not as yet had a positive reply.
Shortly after the Christmas holidays went with the Dom. Perseo to the King, when his Majesty himself made many loving speeches about your Holiness, saying he had nothing more at heart, than when the preparations of Christendom shall be matured, to proceed against the Infidels; he added that he was not meditating anything against the King of the French, but he is compelled at present to defend the Breton interests, both on account of the immense benefits conferred on him by the late Duke in the time of his misfortunes, and likewise for the defence of his own kingdom; the affairs of Britanny being so bound up with those of England, that the latter are necessarily endangered by the Breton catastrophe; and that he has sent ambassadors to the King of the French for peace, which if effected, all will be well; but if not, he has determined to defend Britanny and the orphan Duchess with all his might.
Ambassadors have also been sent to the King of Castile, to confirm the confederacy which was well nigh concluded here, in which there is a clause about a marriage to be contracted between the only son of the King and one of the daughters of the aforesaid King of Castile.
An embassy has been dispatched to the King of the Romans and the Flemings to arrange matters at issue, or, if that may not be, at least to make friendship with both, or with one or other of them, whichever will consent to fair terms, so that trade, so long suspended between the parties, may be brought back into its accustomed channel.
The parliament, which has been summoned, will commence on the 13th of this month. Its chief care will be to make provision for the war. above all the necessary funds for its prosecution,—a matter of no small difficulty, as for their acquirement, not only on the laity will a heavy burden be laid, but also on the clergy, who, it is said, will be subjected to a tax of three-tenths.
On the settlement of these matters your affair will be discussed. The King, as I said, if his bias can be judged by his words, gave us good hope. The Archbishop of Canterbury will not fail us, and we likewise will use all our energies and solicit assiduously and diligently.
Cannot omit to say a word about the Lord Bishop of -, the King's ambassador, and your Holiness' most devoted servant, who, in his letters to the King and others, never fails demonstrating his faithful disposition.
The foregoing was written down to the 10th of January, but the messenger has remained here until now.
In the meanwhile the parliament assembled in very great number, and has hitherto discussed the mode of raising money for the war. All agreed to provide the King for three years with 100,000 pounds, equal to 400,500 ducats, three-fourths of which tax is to be borne by the laity, and the fourth part by the clergy; though this is not yet settled, owing to some dispute between the clergy and laity, which last wanted two-thirds of the amount to be laid upon us, and only one third on themselves. At length, after certain special deputations and conferences between the prelates and the temporal peers, they came to the point mentioned by me, and such I believe will be the final resolution.
Subsequently the King determined on mustering an army of 10,000 men, of whom one division will be sent into Britanny, some of these having already gone in advance, another part will be sent to the fleet, and the third to the garrison of Calais and other places held by the King on the confines of France.
Thus has it been decreed for the present: the rest will be regulated and appointed in conformity with the daily need.
London, 28th day of January 1849.
Signed: “Jo. de Giglis, collector in England.”
[Original. Latin, 76 lines, paper.]
1489. March 19. St. Mark's Library. 551. Persio Malvezzi, Papal Envoy in England, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Acquaint you with the good disposition of the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury. His Majesty has done all that was asked for; nay, more, for he will not appropriate to himself a single ducat derived from the jubilee, regretting the doubts entertained of him, lest, for the reasons assigned in the accompanying letter, you should not obtain as much as he would wish, and as you expected.
He wishes you, at his request, to make Canterbury cardinal, who is thoroughly devoted to the Apostolic see and to you, and acts with integrity by every one else.
On several accounts the Archbishop has not thought fit to assume the responsibility of gathering [the proceeds of] this jubilee, but has chosen the collector and me to execute your intention, and thus according to his opinion we have commissioned all the bishops to collect in their respective dioceses. They all assumed the office willingly, showing themselves well affected towards you, and so I hope things will go better than was expected at first with regard to your not being defrauded; for in truth, so far as I can hear and see, they are all worthy men and of good conscience, and wish well to the Apostolic see. I will endeavour, nevertheless, not to give them much opportunity lest the ready plunder render them thieves.
During the whole of Lent I shall remain with the collector in London, where there is much to do, and also to see how matters proceed, after which I intend to ride all over the kingdom, visiting these prelates, and seeing how things go on. I will then cross over to Ireland, the whole of which we have consigned, with the approval of the Archbishop, to a priest, noble and rich and of good conscience, and who for the fifth part of the total amount will collect the whole entirely at his own cost; but I have sent one of my attendants with him that we may not be flayed by grocers (che non siamo scorti da grosseri). After June I shall go over there with the original [bull], for otherwise they will not believe anything. In this kingdom, which in Italy is supposed to be full of gold and silver, I have seen nothing of the sort as yet; nay, I am told this jubilee will not yield 20,000 ducats, which seems incredible; and they assert that in the time of Pope Sixtus, in the year of the jubilee they got but 18,000 ducats. Had I known this I would never have published the bull until after fully acquainting you, being certain, that for such an amount you would not have placed yourself under obligation to the King. After the publication, however, I did not think fit to draw back, but endeavoured to prove my information false.
By the accompanying letter you will hear all the news of these parts, and how the King has departed to witness the embarkation of 12,000 men, destined for the succour of Britanny; also how the King of the Romans, with the assistance of the English garrison of Calais, lately took St. Thomas, a place in Picardy, of great importance; and already at Landa (Ganda Ghent?) peace has been proclaimed between the King of the Romans and this King, and ambassadors are expected here.
Concerning the alum the merchants made ludicrous demands, which the King and the Archbishop would not allow to be forwarded; they will see to the settlement of this business, and in such form as to satisfy your Holiness.
Letters have been received here from Master Adrian (Castellesi) to the effect that he is coming, and that his mission is twofold—to bring the hat to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to discuss the holy crusade. This report I disbelieve, but acquaint you with it that you may consider how such a mission would be at variance with the system hitherto followed, and what a reproach to us here on the spot, in the eyes of this suspicions race, which might readily give out that the bulls were forgeries, and blame me.
Finally, understanding that the kingdom contains 5,000 parishes with cure of souls, I trust certainly to obtain, one with another, not less than a ducat each, and hope even for more, as I see the people daily inclining to do well; so that I am well nigh certain you will obtain your intent, and that you will not be of opinion you have been robbed like Pope Sixtus.
You charged me to give all the money that came into my hands to Sauli, but as even the Genoese here do not give him credit, I do not think fit to trust him without consulting you. In the meanwhile I shall send the first [instalments] by the collector's nephews, who, with Ghinucci, are responsible; the collector guaranteeing you against loss, and the payment to be made without farther rejoinder, although said bank be perchance creditor of the treasury or of your Holiness.
On receiving the money I will do according to your commands. I beseech you occasionally to remember your servant, for at the Court (of Rome) the absent are considered defunct; and also because Master Giovanni (Bentivoglio) does not allow us any longer to enjoy what little we possessed at Bologna; but we must have patience so long as you will it thus. London, 19 March.
Signed: “Perseus Malvitius.”
[Original. Italian, 81 lines, paper.]
April 1. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 62. 552. Lionel (Chieregato), Bishop of Concordia, (late of Trau,) Papal Nuncio in France, to Pope Innocent VIII.
M. de Cordes expected every day. M. de Vendome sent into Picardy with M. Philip Rebesten (Ravenstein), and the Prince of Orange and M. de S. Periaux into Britanny with one of the Breton ambassadors who came to the French King. Though they used fair words about making peace, still they cannot satisfy both parties; and the common opinion is, that peace will certainly not follow. As there is a rumour that the King of Spain is going to send an army against France, the French resolved to send an ambassador to him to learn his intentions.
Prope Cainonem (Chinon), Turoneñ dioc~, 1 April 1489.
[Holograph. Extract, Latin.]
May 9. St. Mark's Library. 553. Persio Malvezzi, Papal Envoy in England, to Pope Innocent VIII.
By my letters you will have heard of the money (tax) imposed by the King throughout England to aid Britanny, and a few days ago a great Lord (Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland,) having proceeded to levy the money in his province to the northward, towards Scotland, certain vassals of his would not submit to the tax, as one hitherto unaccustomed to be raised. The Lord irritated, threatening them with words and deeds, mustered 800 men to capture them by force. On hearing this the rebels, considering that if taken they should lose their lives, became desperate, and including relations and friends, assembled some 500 persons and awaited this Lord. The two parties came to blows: the first person killed was the Lord himself, whose followers then took flight; so there was but little bloodshed, the affair not proceeding farther: nay, the rebels withdrew to their own houses, and repenting them after the fact, sent, two days later, to the King for mercy, promising to do whatever his Majesty shall choose. Notwithstanding this, for the maintenance of justice, and likewise that it may serve as an example for others, the King has determined to punish them, and is still mustering a great number of troops, meaning to go in person, and will set out on Monday or Tuesday. I know not what will be done. Many people say that he will soon make an end of this business, as these rebels have no leader and but little credit. Many, on the contrary, suspect that some great Lord may have a hand in the business, and that it will be worse than others imagine. The result will soon be seen; whereupon I will endeavour immediately to acquaint you with it. On the morrow of the receipt in London of this intelligence the Archbishop of Canterbury came hither on his way to the King, who is 20 miles off. I went with the collector to visit the Archbishop, who told us what you will learn by the joint letter. The King and my Lord of Canterbury are surprised that new cardinals having been made, my Lord of Canterbury should not have been promoted; the King most especially, who has besought you several times. I am of opinion that it would be well for you to write to them, that they may persevere in their good disposition and devotion towards you.
We have, moreover, opened the moneybox which the King was pleased to have at his court; we found in it 11l. 11s., which result made our heart sink within us, for there were present—the King, the Queen, the mother of the King and the mother of the Queen, besides dukes, earls, and marquises, and other lords and ambassadors, so that we expected to have much more.
Down to this day we have received 27 dispensations, for which we have had 49l. of English money. We have paid the whole sum into the bank, and from time to time will remit the bills of exchange, according to circumstances. We hope to do better for the future with these dispensations, as the thing is already known everywhere.
London, 9 May 1489.
Signed: “Perseus Malvitius.”
[Original. Italian, 40 lines, paper.]
June 28. Sforza Archives, Milan. 554. Henry VII. to Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Have understood you wish that the ancient union which subsisted between the predecessors of both of us should be confirmed by their successors. Have therefore given these presents to Friar John Anthony, our most faithful subject, and the herald of your praises. Should you desire any more special alliance to be contracted, delay not sending word by such envoys as may be suitable.
From our palace at Windsor, 28th day of June 1489.
[Original Latin, 52 lines.]
July 24. Senato Mar. v. xii. p. 175. 555. Decree of the Senate, caused by the Report of Alvise Moro, captain of the Flanders galleys, recently returned from England.
The Republics subject, Luke of Liesina, companion (master) on board the said galleys, was at the helm of the flag galley on its arrival from Flanders, when it was insulted by the fleet of the King of England, and many shots were fired, especially at the said Luke, to make him quit the rudder, but he held it most staunchly so that through his constancy the galley escaped the danger aforesaid.
Put to the ballot, that he may make two voyages as “sworn master” on board any of our traffic galleys, at his option; and moreover be he appointed one of the paupers at the pepper warehouse, thus filling up one of the present vacancies.
Ayes, 167. Noes, 2. Neutral, 0.
[Latin, 12 lines.]
Oct. 6. St. Mark's Library. 556. The Papal Ambassadors in France, Lionel Chieregato, Bishop of Concordia, and the Prothonotary A—Flores, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Received the Pope's brief and copy of protest, with the letter of the Cardinal of Angers (John Balue). The King was gone to Alençon to stand godfather for the Duke of Alençon's son. By reason of this and of the severity of the weather did not go in person to the court, but sent a secretary with letters to the King, Lord de Bourbon, Dom. de Falcone, and others.
Had notified in former letters the arrival at Le Mans of the ambassadors from the King of England, but subsequently stated that the embassy was from the King of the Romans, as they were told by a trustworthy person. The first account, however, was the true one, the embassy being in fact, from the King of England, who thereby made two demands, the one for the restitution of all captures made during the armistice, the nuncios being of opinion that this includes the Genoese ships; the other, that the King of England be restored in full to his pension of 50,000 crowns, which used to be paid him by King Lewis.
These ambassadors have received their final reply from the French King, who proposes sending an ambassador to England, where on St. Luke's Day (October 18), a parliament is to be held, to take into consideration the answers made by France.
The ambassadors of the King of the Romans are in Paris and expected at Tours, for the ratification of the peace already stipulated; the nuncios being of opinion that on the present occasion greater regard will be had for the Pope's honour than was shown in Germany.
The ambassadors of the King of the English are. but two, namely, Sir John Risley and Stephen Frion, the royal secretary, who are speedily to depart, having had their business dispatched on account of the brief period assigned them by their King, in order that they may attend the parliament to be held on St. Luke's day, and there report the result of their mission, so that parliament may decide on future operations. According to report, the French ambassador who is to accompany them will be the bearer of such proposals as to guarantee the grant of the demands of the King of England, though as this ambassador is said not yet to have been appointed, the nuncios are unable to give his name.
Have received letters from the “Bailli” of Meaux. Are expecting Dom. de Falcone to return from the court and bring them the minute of a letter written by the King (Charles VIII.) to King Ferdinand, but suspect that Dom. de Falcone will have sent it direct to the Cardinal of Angers.
Have no other news worth notifying.
Tours, 6 October, 1489.
[Original. Latin, 53 lines, paper.]
1490. Feb. 10. Venetian Archives, Library. 557. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
We will not decide how great the difference may be between the Carthusian and Cistercian orders, as regards religious perfection and rule, though convinced that the strictness of the Carthusian rule exceeds that of all other orders soever, in such wise that, as the sacred canons permit the passage from a more lax mode of life to one more strict, it does not seem conformable to reason that any one professed of the Carthusian order should return in any manner to a rule less strict.
Some years ago, a certain Cistercian monk, a man of levity and inconstancy, after obtaining permission from his abbot, transferred himself to a monastery of the Carthusian order; he made his solemn and expressed profession, remained there during seven consecutive years, and then changing his mind unexpectedly, again returned to his former Cistercian place. This he did at a hint from his first abbot, who asserted that the order of Citeaux was so privileged, that its professed brethren could not canonically pass to any other order whatever it might be, not even to one more strict in rule.
On this account, no slight dispute and controversy has arisen between these orders of Citeaux and the Carthusians, most especially because they say you have allowed the individual aforesaid to quit the Carthusian house, and remain with the Cistercians, amongst whom he made his first vows. This is asserted to be at variance with privileges conceded by the supreme pontiffs to the Carthusians, you having confirmed and enlarged these privileges, which forbid the secession of any professed Carthusian, without a leaden bull and special privilege.
Hence we request you to settle this question, lest the case of one inconstant man give a bad example to other Carthusians, in which order we know there are some who passed from the Cistercians, men far more perfect than those who originally embraced the severe Carthusian rule, and for whom there is now much to fear, unless these beginnings be now checked; lest they, vanquished by the importunities of their abbots, return from fish to flesh, from haircloth to broadcloth, from solitude to society; and lest (which is a still greater peril) this same evil embolden those who quite recently abandoned the world and entered the Carthusian order, again to become wordlings instead of religious, at the instigation of the enemy of mankind.
We refer to the statement of our present envoy and captain, the Prior of Jesus House of Shene, a Carthusian monastery, the foundation which we are bound to protect with peculiar favour and by peculiar right.
Westminster, 10 February 1488(-90).
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 25 lines,parchment.]
Feb. 11. St. Mark's Library, cl. x., clxxvi., 41. 558. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
Papal briefs have arrived, directing his colleague, the Bishop of Concordia, to proceed to England to negotiate peace between England and France, which marvellously pleased the King of France, M. and Madame de Bourbon, and the Chancellor. It were advantageous that this peace be concluded on account of the expedition which the Pope wished to have undertaken against the Turks.
The Bishop of Concordia will be back from England in May. Should he not have returned from England in time for the interview which is to take place between the King of the Romans and the King of France, Flores solicits the necessary credentials for himself to Maximilian.
P.S.—This day, 11th February, at 3 p.m., the Bishop of Concordia started for England.
Ex Molinis (Moulins), die qua supra, 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 9 pages folio.]
Feb. 18. Sforza Archives, Milan. 559. Henry VII. to Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan.
You have declared to us your good will by Dom. Francesco Pagano, your ambassador, who was most welcome. With regard to our mutual friendship, the relationship to be contracted, and to what was done about the Genoese merchants, we explained ourselves fully to him.
Westminster, 18th day of February 1489.
Signed: “Henricus R., manu propria.”
[Latin, 62 lines.]
Feb. 18. St. Mark's Lib. cl. x. clxxvi.,37. 560. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The disposition of the French Court to make war for the Pope's interests on Ferdinand of Arragon, King of Naples, is impeded by the Breton war. The Prince of Salerno and his colleague the Count off Clermont urge the Italian enterprise, and are in frequent communication with M. and Mine, do Bourbon, M. de Cordes, and the Governor of Burgundy. The Prince of Salerno furnishes minute information how to conduct a war against the kingdom of Naples, of which he has drawn up a map. The affairs of Britanny reported not to be proceeding satisfactorily for the King of France. M. de Rohan, who was of the King's party, and who held a great part of Lower Britanny, has been taken by stratagem on his way to a place of recreation, some say by collusion with his adversary; others maintain that it was against his will.
Ex Molinis (Moulins), 18 Feb. 1490.
[Original. Latin, 3 pages folio.]
March 11. Deliberazioni Senato Sccreta. vol. xxxiv. p. 59. 561. The Doge and Senate to Pietro Contarini, Consul in London.
Understand the Florentines are urging the King of England to establish a wool staple at Pisa; and considering the importance of such a measure, and how injurious it would prove to the Venetian galleys, nation, and merchants, have determined to do their utmost to prevent it, and first of all to write to the King, as by the accompanying copy.
Desires the consul, if he perceive that the Florentines persevere in the project, to present the letter to the King, and endeavour to thwart their negotiations. Send letters to this effect for the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Mayor, with whom the consul is to negotiate, and give daily notice of the result. He is to add adroitly, as if the remark were his own. that the State being well supplied with wool, both from the Venetian provinces and from other places, would not allow Venetian subjects to make purchases at Pisa, nor to import thence wools or anything else to Venice, where the consumption of cloth is very great; so that the scheme would be prevented and prove detrimental to England. If on the receipt of this missive the consul should be aware that the project of the Florentines no longer exist, and that the remonstrances of the Signory are unnecessary, he is to withhold the accompanying letters.
Ayes, 145. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 22 lines.]
March 11. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. vol. xxxiv. p. 59. 562. Doge Agostino Barbarigo and the Senate to King Henry VII.
Mindful of the extreme good will and love prevalent between their forefathers and his Majesty's predecessors, in which devotion the State wishes not merely to persevere, but also that it augment towards himself—are therefore at a loss to suppose that anything detrimental to the State, or rather to the King himself and to his subjects, can proceed from him. Make this announcement owing to a report, that he had been tempted by certain parties to establish a staple at Pisa for those wools which hitherto all the merchants of the world had been accustomed to export by tea from England, not a little to the benefit and profit of his own customs and revenues, and to the convenience and satisfaction of his subjects.
Besides many other arguments against this innovation, the State is confirmed in its objection to the project by the following reasons:—
First, that if carried into effect, the galleys and ships of Venice and other foreign nations would thus be prevented from making voyages to England; as, if unable to export wools thence, the motive for conveying thither spices, wine, and the other usual commodities from other parts, would doubtless cease, especially as the exportation of gold and silver from England is prohibited.
Secondly, a very strong reason for the State's disbelief in the project is the formal privilege conceded of yore by former Kings of England and confirmed by his Majesty, authorizing the merchants of Venice to export wool; in virtue of which, they themselves went to England and the State sent its galleys thither, relying on the maintenance of the royal promise as peculiar to his Majesty, to whom this announcement is made rather as an act of duty than from necessity, &c. Request the King not to make any innovation at the suit of any person, as besides the inconveniences aforesaid, the plan proposed, under pretence of advantage and profit to the King, would injure other foreign nations, and violate the aforesaid privileges and the royal promise, which should be taken into account above all.
Decree of the Senate for letters of the like tenor as the foregoing to be written by the College and addressed to the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Mayor, as likewise to such other privy councillors as shall seem fit; the College being also commissioned to write on the subject to the Venetian ambassador in Rome.
Ayes, 145. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 30 lines.]
March 15. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 43. 563. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
M. Dunois came as ambassador to the King of France from Britanny; “he was not well looked upon by the King, because he does not say what pleases these people.” M. Pierre de S. Serges, a councillor of the French King, is being sent to the King of Romans to arrange about the place where these two sovereigns are to meet.
Lyons, 15 March 1490.
P.S. The French ambassadors who were in England have returned; other ambassadors from the King of England are expected. There is more expectation of war than of peace.
[Holograph. Latin, 4s pages, folio.]
March 24. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 42. 564. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The affairs of Britanny and England, which are one and the same, will keep the King fully occupied this summer; nor do I believe he will look to Italian, Neapolitan, or Genoese affairs.
Lyons, 24 March 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 3½ pages, folio.]
March 31. Quarantia Criminal, vol. vi. p. 22. 565. Sentence of the Criminal Court of the Forty concerning an English Merchant at Constantinople.
For justice to be administered against the defendant, Francesco Seaffa, master of a ship belonging to the island of Arbe.
During the past months there was loaded on board the said ship at Constantinople, and consigned to the said master by one Richard Pencher, an English merchant, a certain quantity of wax, hides, called “Boldroni,” and a chest belonging to said merchant with his money and other effects, with an order for their conveyance to Venice.
The master with bold daring went out of his course to the city of Scio, and there sold the aforesaid effects and merchandise, opening the chest, and converting everything to his own use, to the defrauding of the merchant and in contempt of our Signory.
By the authority of this Council be he arrested and detained here at Venice, and in all towns and places of our Signory, and passed on to the prisons at Venice at the suit of the State attorney and examined. Should he not confess the truth spontaneously, be a committee formed as usual, the majority of which to be at liberty to question and rack him, acquainting this Council with the result; and be justice done.
If this prosecution however fail to effect his seizure, be he summoned from the steps at Bialto to appear in person before the State attorneys and their tribunal within eight days, to make his defence for what is aforesaid; on the expiration of which term, should he not appear, be he proceeded against, notwithstanding his absence; and our Count at Arbe, on the receipt of this order, shall make inquiry concerning all the property belonging to the master, causing the same to be seized.
[Latin, 19 lines.]
April 16. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 46. 566. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The first President of the Parliament of Paris has been summoned to the court at Amboise touching the English peace.
Ex Ambasia (Amboise), 16 April 1490.
[Original. Latin, 3¾ pages folio.]
May 6. St. Mark's Library, Ci. x. clxxvi. 74. 567. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
A secretary of the Bishop of Concordia arrived on the 23rd, with letters for the French King, M. and Mme. de Bourbon, the Chancellor, the Seneschal of Carcassonne and for Flores. These letters contained what the Bishop had done in England, by order of the Pope, to promote “this peace or truce.” Flores immediately presented the messenger to the Chancellor of France, and consigned the letters addressed to that personage. The Chancellor arranged for audience on the following day, at which the King and M. and Mme. de Bourbon were most gracious. After the presentation of the letters, the King and M. and Mme. de Bourbon listened to Flores and the secretary, continually commending what the Bishop of Concordia had done in England in favour of peace; and the King and all the rest decided that the Bishop should hasten his journey back, so as to return as soon as possible. The Seneschal of Carcassonne and the Chancellor urged the Bishop to get back before the departure of the English ambassadors from the French court. Flores and the secretary also had an interview with the English ambassadors, and delivered to them letters from the Bishop of Concordia; and they likewise pressed Flores to hasten the Bishops return.
On the 30th April the Bishop arrived at the French court, and was extremely well received by the King and the others, and also by the English ambassadors. The King personally thanked him for what he had done in England.
Tours, 6 May 1490.
[Original. Latin, 2 pages folio.]
May 21. St. Mark's Library. 568. James IV. King of Scotland to Pope Innocent VIII.
Towards the end of last March two letters were brought to me from you by Robert Bishop of Glasgow. You thereby exhorted me, for resistance against the Turk, to send together with the ambassadors of other Kings an ambassador of my own to Rome, as I have done. The Bishop also delivered to me, after long delay, another brief, which urges [the grant of] a pecuniary subsidy for the safeguard of the faith, and that by the 25th of March (the Annunciation) I should forward the same to Rome. This it was impossible for me to do, inasmuch as the letters of your Holiness were brought to me when that day had gone by. Moreover, my kingdom, situated to the west and north, at a very great distance from Rome, does not overflow with silver and gold, although it abounds in other proper commodities.
Since assuming the crown I have exerted myself much to quell the disturbances prevailing in my kingdom, and to reduce it to peace and unity. This, in part accomplished, has exhausted the treasure left by my father. Our old enemies in England also harassed my subjects, whom I have protected against the inroads of their adversaries by my assiduous exertions.
I will endeavour to obey your commands (although I have no store of gold to send) in such wise as not to be outdone either by my late father or by the other princes of Christendom; and shall strive for the honour of the Apostolic see as stoutly and as lovingly as possible.
I have written more at length touching these matters to my procurator, Master Andrew Formann, who will acquaint you with them more fully.
Edinburgh, 21 May 1490.
Signed: “James.”
[Original Latin, 14 lines, paper.]
May 26. Senato Mar. vol. xiii. p. 11. 569. Decree of the Senate.
Nothing is better calculated to hinder the project and order given for the wool staple at Pisa than to prevent foreign ships which load English wools from obtaining return cargoes, whilst nothing can more establish the staple, which is so injurious to our interests, than to allow those ships facility for obtaining return cargoes, above all of wines from Candia. As “Ser” Piero Contarini has ordered a ship of his to load some 400 butts there, for conveyance to Pisa, which will be exported thence westward by the same foreign ships and barques that take the wool to Pisa,—Put to the ballot, that “Ser” Piero Contarini be enjoined, under penalty of the confiscation of his ship and its cargo, not to allow the said wines to be landed, either at Leghorn or Pisa, or in any other place from which they could be conveyed in foreign ships westward; though by our own galleys or ships he may either send them into the west, or have them brought to this city.
To facilitate his execution of this order, as indemnity in some part for his loss, he is to be paid forthwith one ducat per butt from the moneys of the Signory for the wine, whether sent by him into the west, or brought to Venice on board our galleys. This decree to take effect on all persons shipping wines from Candia for Pisa; and concerning the aforesaid wines conveyed to Rhodes, Scio, and elsewhere, for shipment thence westward on board foreign vessels, such provision to be made as shall seem necessary at the first sitting of the Senate.
Ayes, 20. Noes, 6. Neutrals, 13.
The kinsfolk of “Ser” Piero Contarini were excluded.
On the above written day—as “Ser” Piero Contarini, by indirect means, has infringed the order of this Council by conveying the wines of Candia by foreign ship or ships into the west, to the detriment of our affairs, especially on account of the wool staple ordered to be established at Pisa, and contrary to the decision of the Signory before the departure of his ship from this city.—Put to the ballot, that the foregoing decree be communicated to said “Ser” Piero Contarini, with the exception of the clause in which mention is made of giving him one ducat per butt on the wines sent to him into the west, or to this city.
Ayes, 111.
[Italian, 42 lines.]
June 9. Sforza Archives, Milan. 570. Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Henry VII.
Announces the return of his ambassador, Francesco Pagnano, who had been residing in England during the last months. Had received the King's letters. Rejoices at the good will borne him by the King. Acknowledges the grant of a safeconduct for Milanese subjects. As an additional proof of his gratitude, accredits to the King the Genoese merchant trading in England, Benetto Spinola, who will not only communicate his written instructions, but detail in full what the Duke had done about the complaints of the Genoese made by English subjects, and how the Genoese replied that there was no reason to complain of them. Requests the King to give credence in this matter to Benetto as to himself.
Pavia, 9 June 1490.
[Draft. Latin, 60 lines.]
June 25. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 72. 571. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
Yesterday the Bishop of Concordia left on his way to the congress, which is to be held at Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais, where deputies of the King of France are to meet deputies of the King of England to treat of peace between the two sovereigns. The difficulty will be, as hitherto, relative to including the Duchess of Britanny.
Tours, 25 June.
[Holograph. Lathi, 1 page folio.]
1490. July. Sforza Archives, Milan. 572. Benedetto Spinola to Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Announces the arrival on the 13th of his Highness's messenger with letters for the King and for himself.
On obtaining audience, found the King in the midst of many Lords. A time appointed for him to make his communication. The King was about to send ambassadors to Rome. They were instructed to present themselves to the Duke, and make a full communication to him.
To Spinola the King said, that from no one did he receive letters more willingly than from the Duke. Concerning the safeconduct conceded to the Milanese and to other subjects of the Duke, and the repeal of the reprisals, in this and other similar matters he was ready to oblige the Duke to the utmost.
With regard to the understanding between them, the King had empowered his ambassadors, by whom he was sending the authentic instrument of agreement, in the same form as the document sent by by the Duke to Spinola, who had therefore no occasion to use the power of attorney with which he had been provided.
Touching the matrimonial alliance between the Duke and the King as negotiated lately by “Messer” Francesco Pagnano, Spinola made the announcement as commanded, and from what he could understand, the King seemed much inclined towards the relationship, but said that the negotiation for the marriage of the Lady Anne with the cousin of the King of Portugal was not yet completed, but that he was daily expecting ambassadors from the King of Portugal on the subject, as the Duke would hear from the English ambassadors on their way to Rome. Should the Lady Anne not be at liberty, there would remain the Lady Catherine. Concerning the dower, Spinola let his Majesty know, in becoming language, that the like custom does not prevail in Italy amongst potentates as that which the King said was usual in this country, and that it would be fitting for his Majesty to weigh all things. To this the King answered, that as these ladies were asked of him by great personages, both Englishmen and aliens, without any dower, for the mere sake of the connection and friendship, he did not think it fitting that such a thing should be demanded. Nevertheless, should the marriage take place, it would be his care to send the bride in honourable form as becoming the Duke's daughter-in-law, the daughter of so great a King, and the sister of a Queen, as he would cause the Duke to be informed by his ambassadors.
As to the affair of the new regulation about the wools, (fn. 1) he made the statement enjoined him, but the King gave no further reply. Spinola is of opinion that this proceeds from his having undertaken the matter in such form, and given such promises, that he thinks he cannot retract. Possibly the ambassadors on their way to Rome may be commissioned to discuss this matter with the Duke.
The King had heard that the Duke had written to Genoa about the complaints made by the English against the Genoese there, desiring them, were the case such as represented, to apply a suitable remedy; and that they exculpated themselves according to the tenour of the document now transmitted by the Duke. With this the King seemed satisfied, though he told Spinola that, on the dispatch of certain business with which he is now occupied on account of the French war, he will have the matter examined by his Council, and make such answer as shall seem fit.
There is but little to write about the state of the kingdom, as it is in very good condition. Yesterday the King quitted London to ride through the country for the purpose of mustering his troops; he is forming a powerful force both by sea and land. It is suspected that the war between his Majesty and France will continue, and although the ambassadors of both sovereigns are on the borders negotiating truces through the papal legate, yet it is the general opinion that neither peace nor truce will ensue, unless the French desist from the undertaking against Britanny.
Should he hear anything farther, Spinola will endeavour to give the Duke notice of it.
London, July 1490.
Signed: “Benedictus Spinula.”
[Italian, 180 lines.]
July 1. Venetian Archives, Library. 573. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
About a year ago the Duchess of Britanny intimated to us there had been nominated and presented to the church of Nantes by her father and herself one Master Gnegnen, whom the chapter of the Church of Nantes solemnly elected; but that you, at the suggestion of the King of the French, appointed to the said church one Bobert de Spinay, a man suspect and objectionable to herself, to her government, and her country. She asked us to intercede with your Holiness that the election of Guillaume Gnegnen should be confirmed, and that the Apostolic promotion of Bobert de Spinay might be annulled.
We, who have assumed the protection of that duchy, therefore wrote earnestly to your Holiness to confirm the aforesaid capitular election, and cancel that Apostolic provision. Being, however, assured by the Duchess that her wishes have not yet been complied with, we again intercede with you to yield to her just suit, and finally that you will give credence to our procurators in this matter, Sir David Williams, Master of our Bolls, and Sir John de Giglis, collector in our realm.
Greenwich, 1 July 1490.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 24 lines, parchment.]
July 5. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 69. 574. Flores to PorE Innocent VIII.
On the 27th ultimo, ambassadors arrived from the Emperor and from the King of the Romans. With them came Monsignor Raymond Peraud, Archdeacon of Xaintes, who told Flores that he came to assist the ambassadors in order to complete the business of the peace, of which he alleged he was himself the author, and to promote the expedition appointed against the Turks. Mores answered that the Pope desired peace, and never failed to induce the French to that end. Peraud seems a worthy hut loquacious and vain man: his participation in this embassy is merely nominal and ceremonial; hut he maintains a multitude of couriers, and sends them off with the earliest news, to gain personal importance. The embassy urges the liberation of the Duke of Orleans, the evacuation of the towns in Britanny, and peace with that country. All is in suspense and nothing settled.
Tours, 5 July 1500.
[Original Latin, 4 pages folio.]
July 13. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 56. 575. Floees to Pope Innocent VIII.
Peraud, Archdeacon of Xaintes, styles himself a legate sent by the Pope to treat for peace. Flores complains of the indignity thus put upon himself and the Bishop of Concordia. The French King will not desert the Flemings; he will not deliver up the castles in Britanny, because the English are not yet driven out, who, before such delivery, were to have been expelled by the Duchess. The Duke of Orleans is not to be released. No news from the Bishop of Concordia. The greatest preparations are being made for war, of which there is more chance than of peace.
Tours, 13 July 1490.
[Original. Latin, 42/3 pages folio.]
July 15. Venetian Arc-hives, Library. 576. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
As John de Giglis is recalled to Rome, we greatly lament his departure, and cordially desire his return may tend to the increase of his reputation and preferment. As a manifest indication of this our desire, we have chosen him to be one of our procurators and ambassadors to you, and recommend him to you.
Greenwich, 15 July 1490.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 18 lines, parchment.]
July 15. Venetian Archives, Library. 577. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent the VIII.
The Lord Adrian de Castelli, your collector for this our kingdom, informed us that you were gratified by the patent of naturalization granted to your nephew the Lord John Baptist (Cibo); we are glad indeed that you should have comprehended our readiness to comply with your wish.
The Lord Adrian negotiated with us about the aftairs of the said Lord John Baptist, the matter of peace with the French, and the Deanery of Chester. He will acquaint you [with our opinions] with regard to the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem, and other matters about which you wrote to us. Your Holiness shall fully know our mind from our procurators and ambassadors, Sir David Williams, Keeper of our Rolls, and also Sir John de Giglis, late your collector in this our realm.
Greenwich, the 15th day of July 1490.
Signed: “Henricus JR.”
[Original. Latin, 11 lines, parchment.]
1490. July 15. Venetian Archives, Library. 578. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
After the unexpected death of the Bishop of Limerick, our procurator, we had determined long ago to send procurators and ambassadors to your Holiness. We have therefore sent Sir David Williams and Sir John de Giglis as our procurators and ambassadors to you, whom we pray you to receive graciously for our sake.
Greenwich, the 15th day of July 1490.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 18 lines, parchment.]
July 16. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 55. 579. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The ambassadors of Britanny arrived today.
Tours, 16 July 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 4½ pages folio.]
July 18. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 53. 580. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
To-day the ambassadors of Britanny are in great discussion with the deputies of the King, and with the ambassadors of Maximilian and the Emperor, about peace. The Bretons are asked to expel the English, and then the places which the King holds in Britanny will be evacuated, for it was so stipulated at Frankfort and in Ulm. The Bretons say they cannot expel the English, because the English are the stronger, and that therefore a period of six months should be given them for such expulsion. The King would have the English expelled within a month. In the midst of these altercations nothing is yet concluded. Between today and tomorrow peace or war will be determined.
Tours, 18 July 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 1 page.]
July 21. Venetian Archives, Library. 581. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
As our mother the Lady Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby, is desirous that the chapel which she has chosen for her sepulture may be distinguished by Apostolic indulgences, she has besought us to intercede with your Holiness to grant, as well for the soul of our said mother as for the souls of those deceased, for whom masses shall be celebrated in the said chapel chosen for her sepulture, the indulgences and remission of sins granted to the chapel called of the Blessed Mary, “De Scala Cœli,” within the church or outside the church of the Cistercian Monastery of St. Anastatius beyond the walls of Rome. We pray you to accede to her desire and holy project.
Greenwich, 21 July 1490.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 12 lines, parchment.]
July 21. Venetian Archives, Library. 582. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Have often entreated his Holiness to promote to the dignity of the cardinalate the Lord John (Morton), Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor and primate of this kingdom. Do not suppose there is more need of further recommendation but as Sir David Williams and Sir John de Giglis, ambassadors to his Holiness, are about to set out for Rome, are unwilling they should depart hence without carrying letters concerning that affair, and therefore pray his Holiness no longer to delay this much desired and much deserved and well nigh indispensable promotion.
Greenwich, 21st day of July 1490.
P.S., in the King's own hand.— Such is our wish, Holy Father, and this we desire with the inmost longing of our heart. (Ita cupimus Pater Sancte, atque ex intimo cordis affectu desideramus.)
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 12 lines, parchment.]
July 21. Venetian Archives, Library. 583. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
As Sir Oliver King, our chief secretary, is always in attendance on our person, so that he cannot in person visit certain parish churches situated in his archdeaconry of Taunton, in the diocese of Wells and Bath, we pray you graciously to grant him a dispensation, and decree him letters with the clauses customary, that he may, by his proxy or proxies, visit several parish churches in his said archdeaconry.
Moreover, be you pleased to concede him a dispensation for holding, in commendam, both the parish church of Broughton, in the diocese of Winchester, of which he has already possession, as likewise the deanery of Stoke, otherwise called Stoke Clare, in the diocese of Norwich, of which he has the expectancy, the annual value of the two benefices together not exceeding three hundred and twenty (Roman) treasury ducats, as you will hear from our procurators and ambassadors, the Venerable Sir David Williams and Sir John de Giglis, to whom we have committed this business.
Greenwich, the 21st day of July 1490.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 11 lines, parchment.]
July 21. Archives, Venice Library. 584. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
William Parker, a faithful subject of ours, has petitioned us to recommend John Parker, his son, now in his 14th year, for a dispensation to receive and hold some benefice, with cure [of souls], to enable him to support himself in the acquirement of learning, as he will when of lawful age, proceed to priest's orders. We beseech you to grant him such dispensation.
Greenwich, 21st day of July 1490.
[Original. Latin, 8 lines, parchment.]
July 23. St. Mark's Lib. Cl. x. clxxvi. 51. 585. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The ambassadors of Britanny left without any settlement, The Prince of Orange is expected. The greatest military movements are taking place. The ambassadors of Maximilian and the Emperor are here, labouring for peace; nevertheless nothing seems concluded. The Marèchal de Gie is sent to Angers to order and regulate the King's camp.
Tours, 23 July 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 12/3 page.]
July 28. St. Mark's Lib. Cl. x. clxxvi. 49. 586. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII. (fn. 2)
Before this King had sent his ambassadors to Spain, a Franciscan friar, “Jo. de Moulion,” a Navarrese, wished to become the mediator of this peace, asserting that he was neutral. He therefore spoke with Madame (de Beaujeu, Anne de Bourbon.) nearly a year ago, when we were at Amboise. Though he said he had no commission from the King and Queen of Spain, yet at last he delivered some letters credential from the Queen of Castile to Madame de Bourbon, stating that he had interfered for the peace, and the Queen had heard him willingly. He had also spoken with the King of France, in the presence of Mme. de Bourbon. All told him they wished for good friendship with Spain; and letters were given him on behalf of Mme. de Bourbon for the Queen of Castile. When he was going back to Spain he told the Bishop of Concordia and me he believed it would be certainly settled that these two Kings should have an interview, and that he was labouring for that object. This friar then went to Spain. The King and Queen accepted the proposal for an interview, and sent the friar and a knight to the French King. In March they were at this court, but did not appear in public. In April they were expedited hence; and the friar told me, in the greatest secresy, that he had arranged an interview between both sovereigns at Fontarabia and Bayonne, at which the Queen of Spain and Mme. de Bourbon were to be present, and that a compromise was there to be formed, the Queen and Madame acting as arbitrators of differences about the country of Roussillon and other things. The interview was appointed to take place on the 8th September next. In case the two ladies cannot agree, they may each choose a certain number of the councillors of the two Kings. He also said the King and Queen wished me and my colleague to be present, for I, as a Spaniard, can assist the Queen, while the Bishop of Concordia can assist Madame. Finally, he asked me not to reveal these matters even to the Bishop of Concordia. When at supper with the Lord Chancellor, I said I had heard from a friend at Home, kinsman to a certain friar “Jo. de Maulion,” of a proposed interview on the 8th Sept., and that I and Concordia could procure briefs from you. He replied, that day had been fixed upon because the King of Spain had not proceeded to the city of Granada with the army; but in consequence [of that movement] it was [now] impossible that the two sovereigns could meet on that day. He approved of the briefs. I told him I remembered his asking us to write to you to send a nuncio or else some briefs to the King of Spain. He, moreover, informed me he had charged Signor Marchino Gaetani (Cathaneum), your esquire, to speak with you on this matter. Your Holiness must write differently in this business from the mode you use in the other pacification between the Kings of France and England, and between the former and the King of the Romans, for in those cases there was and still is open war between the parties; but it is not so in this case: (fn. 3) for when this King gave public reply to the ambassadors of Britanny, he complained of their bringing the English and other nations into Britanny, expressly avoiding mention of the Spaniards; and on another occasion, when the King spoke against M. d'Albret, he said that he had had recourse to other sovereigns. You should therefore exhort them to renew the friendship and treaties of peace which existed between their forefathers, and accredit us to this King. [At the end are two lines in cipher, appearing to allude to impediments in the way of his career.]
Tours, 28 July 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 4¾ pages.]
July 28. St. Mark's Library. Cl. x. clxxvi. 48. 587. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
A few days ago dined with the Emperor's Chancellor and the Prothonotary of Xaintes (Raymond Peraud), the former having been appointed the Archdeacon's colleague by the Emperor. They asked me to do what I could towards this peace of Britanny in the absence of the Prothonotary, for whose return the Emperor had written. I said I could not interfere without being asked to do so. Subsequently the Prothonotary and the ambassadors of the King of the Romans, with the Chancellor, resolved to go into Britanny to induce the Duchess to expel the English. The King asked the Cardinal of Lyons to go with them, but he excused himself. The Archdeacon has procured letters from the King and M. and Mme. de Bourbon, requesting you not to deprive him of the function of Legate in Germany. He is sending a courier to the Emperor with letters from the French King excusing his return, as the King is sending him to Britanny, whither he went with the said ambassadors, telling me he should not be absent more than 20 days; in the meantime there is a suspension of arms. He desires to return to you, and bring money he has in Germany belonging to you.
The Duke of Lorraine sends the French King 3,000 infantry for the Breton war; but the war is delayed too long, for the suspension of arms lasts 15 or 20 days. Perhaps a truce will be negotiated for this winter, until the interview between the King of France and the King of the Romans can take place in the city of Tournay or Douai (Dioc').
Tours, 28 July 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 41/6 pages.]
Aug. 3. Senato Mar. v. xiii. p. 19. 588. Decree of the Senate.
Permitting Marco and Paolo Tiepolo and Piero and Jacopo Contarini to receive certain wools and cloths, shipped for their account in England on board Biscayan barks before the Act of the 24th May was passed, prohibiting the conveyance to Venice of similar merchandise on board any but Venetian vessels.
[Italian, 28 lines.]
Aug. 9. St. Mark's Library. Cl. x. clxxvi. 48. 589. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The Archdeacon of Xaintes and the other ambassadors of the King of the Romans are not yet returned from Britanny. Concordia is still at Boalogne-sur-Mer at the congress. The Kino; sets out on the road to Angers on account of Britanny. Continual preparations for war, but nothing can be done this year. It is hoped the Prince of Orange is coming here from Britanny; unless he bring peace all consider it out of the question.
Tours, 9 August 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, ½ page.]
Aug. 12. St. Mark's Library, Cl. x. clxxvi. 59 590. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The ambassadors have not returned from Britanny. They and the Prince of Orange are expected in a day or two. I fear the negotiations will not end in peace with the King of England, because he will not desert Britanny. You will learn the truth from the Bishop of Concordia, who will, I hope, lay the foundation of some kind of truce. In letters of the 1st instant, he says he is going to Calais to ask the English to wait a little while for the answers of this King to the suggestions drawn up, touching which the King of England had to answer, but had not done so; and I know that an answer has been sent hence rejecting these suggestions as they stand. We shall therefore, through all this month, have to look for the result of this congress. I have just heard that a number of English have invaded Picardy. Another rumour, incompatible with this, has arisen, that, at the instance of Maximilian's ambassadors in Britanny, the Duchess accepted the article of the peace made at Ulm with the ambassadors of the French King, according to which she is to expel the English from Britanny before the King gives up some castles there, which were to have been delivered up according to the treaty of peace made at Frankfort; and within a year, a decision is to be arrived at in Tournay, by impartial persons, respecting the right of the duchy; for whatever the King of England, does, he says is for the sake of the Duchess, and he will not make peace or truce with France unless the Duchess be included. How the Duchess can be content now to expel the English I do not see; for even if she wish she cannot do so. I and many others think that there is some secret understanding between the King of the Romans and the King of England, especially since it is asserted that numbers of men from Flanders have effected a junction with the English, and these men are said to be sent by Duke Philip, the son of Maximilian.
Tours, 12 August 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 3 pages folio.]
Aug. 25. St. Mark's Library. Cl. x. clxxvi. 58. 591. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
Though the Archdeacon of Xaintes has asserted that the peace of Britanny had been effected by his instrumentality, it will vanish in smoke, unless it be concluded by the Prince of Orange now with the King, Two things were said to have been concluded with the Duchess by Maximilian and the Emperor's ambassadors:—(1.) That before the King deliver up the castles he has in Britanny, the Duchess would dismiss the English; (2.) That an investigation of the right of the duchy as between the King and the Duchess should take place within a year at Tournay. The arrangement did not satisfy the King, as he requires the English shall be expelled from Britanny within a given time. With respect to the investigation of his right, he says it can be examined in a single day, and he has no intention that this matter should be so protracted. Afterwards, the Prince of Orange arrived as ambassador of the Duchess, with power to agree with the French King respecting the term within which the English should evacuate Britanny. The King insisted on its being four months; the Duchess wishes it ten. The King also demanded securities or hostages that the English should return to England in the time agreed upon. The King has gone hence to Chinon, which is a sign of war with Britanny. Nevertheless, the said ambassadors, the Archdeacon, and the Prince of Orange have followed the King. All is uncertain. Greatest preparations for war. Gives an account of his ecclesiastical negotiations. The first President of Paris and the Bishop of Concordia are still at the congress at Calais, and will probably be absent ten or twelve days longer.
Tours, 25 August 1490.
[Original, in a secretary's hand, Latin, 32/3 pages folio.]
Aug. 25. St. Mark's Library. Cl. x. clxxvi. 57. 592. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The Marèchal de Rieux (de Rios) has arrived at the court at Chinon as second ambassador from the Duchess of Britanny. He would not have dared to come if the Maréchal de Cordes, (fn. 4) who is at Nantes, had not remained a hostage for him, together with M. de la Tremouille. If De Rieux and the Prince of Orange do not arrange peace, the matter is incapable of arrangement. The King's inclination to invade Britanny increases, since he perceives that the King of the Romans is a long way off, and attending to the affairs of Hungary, and that the King of Castile is intent upon the Moorish territory (Mauritania); and with the King of England the business is proceeding by negotiation and mediation, which Flores grieves are so long protracted, because he wishes the Bishop of Concordia were back to cooperate with him in the convocation about the French ecclesiastical negotiations.
Tours, 25 August.
[Holograph. Latin, 1 page.]
Sept. 8. St. Mark's Library. Cl. x. clxxvi., 66. 593. Flores to Pope Innocent VIII.
The Bishop of Concordia laboured greatly for peace with the English, but achieved nothing. The only arrangement is that the negotiations are put off to another congress, which is to be held at the same places on the feast of St. Michael this month; but the Chancellor of France told Flores that no one would appear there for the French King. The King has assembled a great army, hut between petty delays and the intervention of winter, thinks war will be put off.
Angers, 8 Sept. 1490.
[Holograph. Latin, 2¼ pages.]
1490. Sept. 9. Sforza Archives, Milan. 594. Henry VII. to Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Giuliano Bucino, ambassador to us from the King of Naples, delivered letters of credence to us from you, and visited us on your behalf. Saw and heard this individual willingly; are of opinion he will make you a true report.
Palace of Oking, 9th day of September 1490.
Signed: “Henricus.”
[Original. Latin, 20 lines.]
Sept. 26. St. Mark's Library. 595. James IV., King of Scotland, to Pope Innocent VIII.
There was one whom our father held dear, a Parisian professor of divinity, a certain Johannes de Irlandia, his ambassador to kingsand princes abroad, and his counsellor at home,— most admirable as his confessor. We ourselves bear this individual sincere affection, and need his services in the same functions.
This man, by reason of the grievous vexations which the Archbishop of St. Andrew's brought undeservedly upon him, was for just cause, together with his church, exempted at our father's suit, from the Archbishop's jurisdiction, and placed under the protection of the Apostolic see. This exemption we appreciate highly, for we deemed it just that those whose assistance is needed by their governments should be free and subject to none other but your Holiness. We, our Council, and the peers (magnates) of our realm marvel that this man of virtue and learning, who has spent so much profitable labour in this Archbishop's diocese, should never have been able to win the favour of this prelate, who, after harassing him in his own country, now that the man is of mature age, has summoned him to your court for a fictitious cause, in order to invalidate his exemption. Verily, we cannot dispense with the services of such a man, whose mere absence, not to say his overthrow, would be very deplorable for us and our realm.
We therefore pray you to make provision touching these enormities, and not to suffer our ambassador to be in any way molested by this powerful Archbishop; and although from time to time our petitions in favour of certain prelates reach you, yet we love this man more than any other, and treat him with the greatest favour; wherefore we beseech you to cancel the citation against him, and that in this and other matters you will give true credence to our procurator, Andrew Forman.
From the palace of Linlithgow, the 26th of September 1490.
Signed: “Your Holiness's devoted son, Rex Scotorum Jacobus.”
[Original. Latin, 16 lines, paper.]
Dec. 1. St. Mark's Library. 596. James IV., King of Scotland, to Pope Innocent VIII.
From the report of my procurator, Master Andrew Forman, I have understood the affection of your Holiness, and how in the dispute between him and the ambassador of the King of Naples, you maintained him in that place which, beyond the memory of man, has been due to my realm. I thank you, and request that, though my kingdom be far away from Rome, you do not suffer my ambassador to be provoked by any one.
Have written many letters to you and to the sacred College of Cardinals for the raising of the iamons church of Glasgow—which surpasses the other cathedral churches of my realm by its structures, its learned men, its foundation, its ornaments, and other very noble prerogatives—to metropolitan, primatial and born legatine rank, like the church of York in England.
To my amazement you have not hearkened to so obedient a son, wherefore again I beseech your Holiness to expedite the said creation. If anything should reach you from the Archbishop of St. Andrews, or through any other channel, contrary to my letters, and this creation, I supplicate you to give no credence thereto, nor to the adverse reports of any one, especially as the creation was decreed in my Parliament by the three estates of the kingdom after mature deliberation, to which effect my Chancellor addressed letters to you in the name of the estates.
From my burgh of Aberdeen under my privy seal, the first of December, in the year ninety.
Signed as the preceding.
[Original. Latin, 17 lines, paper.]
Dec. 5. St. Mark's Library. 597. Adrian Castellesi, of Corneto, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Mentions orders given him by the Pope, in accordance with which he writes frequent news to the Secretary. The King had lately held a meeting of Parliament concerning Britanny, on which province the French continued their attack. At the close of the session, had visited the Chancellor, Thomas Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, who desired him to write to the Pope that parliament had determined that the King was to go in person into France next summer, providing him with the necessary supplies, appointing his followers, and making excellent arrangements for the prevention of injury to England or Britanny in the meanwhile. As stated and written by him heretofore, Morton is always zealous for the honour and dignity of the Pope and of the holy see: nor had he neglected doing his utmost to persuade the King to accept some of the many offers of peace and agreement proposed by France; but he complained that the Bishop of Concordia (Leonello Chieregato), late papal nuncio in England, and who out of regard for the Pope was received with all honour, had wasted many months in words and proposals, and concluded none of the terms stipulated with him from deference for the Apostolic see, the articles being violated through the treachery of the French, or by some fault of his own, which fault many would have attributed to the Pope, and considered him more partial to France, had not the Archbishop, of his observance and goodness, stifled many similar reports and opinions.
These assurances were subsequently verified by Adrian, whom Morton told to request the Pope to quench the flames of threatening war, before the King proceeded farther. Adrian will continue to do his best to the like effect, and is writing farther on the subject to the Pope's Secretary of State.
London, 5 December 1490.
[Original. Latin, 29 lines, paper.]
1490. Dec. 21. Sforza Archives, Milan. 598. Henry VII. to Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Learnt with deep regret the seizure of some of your merchants together with their merchandise, on the Rhine, by the Count Palatine and the Margrave of Baden, in virtue of some commission given by the Emperor (Frederick III.) to the Count and Margrave (by reason of certain reprisals granted by our progenitors to the heirs of Richard Heron our subject); for we have not forgotten that last year when your ambassador, Francesco Pagnnno, was here, we, for legitimate reasons, interdicted and suspended these reprisals, and received all Milanese merchants under our safeconduct, so that they might safely and freely, like other foreign merchants, trade in this realm—go and return, stay and reside. Therefore are much surprised that the Emperor should enforce these reprisals, which never were conceded either by himself or his predecessors, but emanated from some of our own progenitors. Suppose his Majesty does not mean to claim jurisdiction in our own realm, or beyond that which we our selves exercise! If any human being could assert any interest or claim with regard to these reprisals, we are that person, but not the heirs of Richard Heron, or any one else.
Having taken these merchants under our protection, and suspended the said reprisals, neither could the Emperor nor any other prince soever have the right or power in ordinary to make this sort of seizure either of the merchants or of their merchandise; nor moreover can such letters of reprisal be legally acknowledged by any prince or princes, unless they give us previous notice and obtain our consent. Therefore we wrote forthwith to his Imperial Majesty on this subject, and also to the King of the Romans, our brother, and to the Count Palatine and Margrave of Baden, for the release of the said merchants and merchandise, and are of opinion that there will be no need of further intercession; yet, have we determined that copies of each of these letters should be sent to you, that you may know how we lament the mishap of your merchants, our affection for you, and how ready we are to comply with your wishes. Nor indeed, as we have been told lately, is it your merchants alone who are detained by the Count Palatine and Margrave, at the suit and request of the heirs of Richard Heron, but some of our own subjects, and even certain Florentines on their way to this our realm, together with all their merchandise, have been captured, so that we regret this proceeding very much indeed, but persuade ourselves that, immediately on the delivery of our letters, these merchants and their goods will be released.
Windsor, 21st day of December 1490.
Signed: “Henricus.”
[Original. Latin, 82 lines, paper.]
Dec. 21. Sforza Archives, Milan. 599. Henry VII. to the Emperor Frederick.
Gian Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, has informed us that some months ago certain merchants of his, proceeding with precious merchandise towards this our realm, were arrested on the Rhine, with their goods, by the Count Palatine and the Margrave of Baden, in virtue of some commission of your Majesty given to the said Count Palatine and Margrave, by reason, as it is asserted, of certain reprisals conceded by our progenitors to the heirs of one Richard Heron, our subject, deceased, against Milanese merchants. But since we last year took all Milanese merchants under our safeconduct, empowering them freely to go to our kingdom, to trade and reside there, and to return thence, notwithstanding these reprisals, which we annulled—we pray your Majesty to direct the Count and Margrave at once to release the said Milanese merchants, together with their goods, and moreover in no wise to aid the said heirs in the suit for reprisals, which we suspended more than a year ago; also, that they make full restitution, not only to the Milanese merchants, but to all other merchants soever, whether our subjects or Florentines, or any others of any description, there arrested at the suit of the heirs of Richard Heron in virtue of any reprisals granted by our progenitors: for it is not in accordance with law that these heirs of Richard Heron, our subject, should receive more favour or justice from you than from us ourselves; nor is it quite becoming that these ancient grants of our progenitors, which we have interdicted and suspended on suspicion of their not being quite legitimate, should be held confirmed by your Majesty. Indeed, if there be any one who can justly claim any right or title in these reprisals, it would be ourselves, and not the heirs of Heron; or if the heirs of Heron lay claim to any legitimate right, it is of our jurisdiction to hear and minister justice. Doubt not but you will at once order the Count and Margrave to release these Milanese merchants and others arrested, and restore their several goods in full.
Windsor, 21st day of December 1490.
[Copy. Latin, 90 lines, paper.]
Dec. 21. Sforza Archives, Milan. 600. Henry VII. to the King of the Romans.
Letter in conformity with the preceding.
[Copy. Latin, 90 lines, paper.]
Dec. 21. Sforza Archives, Milan. 601. Henry VII. to the Margrave of Baden.
Letter in conformity with the two preceding.
[Copy. Latin, 80 lines, paper.]
Dec. 21. Sforza Archives, Milan. 602. Henry VII. to the Duke of Milan.
Returns thanks for the honourable reception given to Sir David Williams, English ambassador to Rome, on his passage through Milan.
Windsor, 21 December 1490.
Signed: “Henricus. Manu propria.”
[Original. Latin.]
Dec. 27. Sforza Archives, Milan. 603. Benedetto Spinola to Galeazzo Maria Sforza Visconti, Duke of Milan.
On the 5th instant, the messenger Gian Christopher Cagnolla, the bearer of the present packet, arrived with the Duke's letters addressed to the King of England and to himself. Expresses gratitude for the Duke's recollection of him, and is delighted to hear of his well being.
On the arrival of the messenger the King was in the country 50 miles off, so he rode towards him immediately together with the messenger. Both one and the other were well received by the King, who desired them to pass the day with him to rejoice about the letters and the statement made by Spinola in virtue of his credentials, declaring that the news of the Duke comforted him as much as those of any other prince. He returned thanks for the great honour done lately to his ambassadors, and declared that it was his wish constantly to strengthen the confederacy and friendship formed with the Duke, making him all possible loving offers. He expressed regret for the seizure of the Duke's subjects and their merchandise on the Rhine by the Count Palatine and the Margrave of Baden, in virtue of the frivolous reprisals conceded of yore to the late Richard Heron. He said it was not the business of any potentate to administer justice to his subjects, as by God's grace he himself sufficed for that purpose; that as the reprisals were conceded without right and cause, he had repealed and cancelled them, writing to the Emperor, the King of the Romans, and to the said Count Palatine and Margrave of Baden, as by the enclosed copies.
His Majesty said nothing more about the marriage, so they did not make further inquiry about it.
The Portuguese ambassadors are with the King, and according to report will conclude the marriage between the cousin of the King of Portugal and the eldest sister of the Queen of England. Will acquaint the Duke with the result.
Concerning the affair of the wools, it seems that “these English” have seen their mistake, and it is said that the King will therefore not proceed farther in the business.
Could not dispatch the present messenger sooner, although great haste was made: he behaved himself well and met with a very kind reception from the King, who being however at a distance from London, some little delay took place in obtaining the letters, which cost 28 ducats. Requests that repayment may be made to “Messer” Napoleone Spinola.
The English ambassadors have been long abroad on the frontiers of France, where they have held several conferences with the French ambassadors; though as yet they have been unable to devise any form of peace, and the expectation is rather of war.
Will give notice of what occurs.
London, 27 December 1490.
Signed: “Benedictus Spinola.”
[Italian, 150 lines, paper.]


  • 1. Query, the project for an English wool staple at Pisa.
  • 2. To understand the ultimate connection of this despatch with English politics, it is necessary to bear in mind that at this very time there were Spanish troops in Britanny, cooperating with the British forces against the French aggression on that duchy, and that the object of the negotiations here detailed was to detach Spain from the English alliance.
  • 3. See Bergenroth's Calendar, and also Prescott, for the fact that after the defeat of the Bretons and their English and Spanish auxiliaries at S. Aubin in 1488, the Spanish sovereigns again, in the spring of 1489, sent 2,000 men into Britanny to aid the Duchess; and a much larger English force went thither under Lord Broke, Sir John Cheney, &c.
  • 4. Philippe de Crevecœur. He died in 1494.