Venice: 1503

Pages 295-298

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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1503. Jan. 4. Senato Mar. 829. Regulations Enacted by the Venetian Factory in London, and ratified by the Senate and College on the 4th January 1503.
In continuation of ancient custom, according to the tenor of the London factory's laws, its “Council of Twelve,” lately elected, as “revisers” of this their “factory of London,” Lorenzo Pasqualigo and Nicolò Giustinian, limiting the revision to the accounts of the last consul, Piero Tiepolo.
Subsequently, on inspection of the books of previous consuls, many errors of various periods were discovered. Sundry consuls incurred extravagant expenditure, failed to exact payment from the factory's debtors, and did not levy the quota from such as were liable to it.
The Council of Twelve, therefore, enact that on receiving the Signory's confirmation of the present motion, the consul do assemble the Council [of Twelve] and appoint two revisers of the books of the London factory. They, together with the consul, to revise the entire administration of the consuls during the last twelve years, and report on oath to the Council of Twelve. Should the Council admit the maladministration of these moneys, such moneys then to be placed to the debit of the respective defaulting consuls, the said revisers and consul being paid ten per cent. on what they recover from the convict consuls.
And as for some years, it has been impossible to levy [the quota] from aliens having goods on board Venetian galleys and ships, both because they are favoured by the masters of the vessels, and likewise owing to the negligence of the consuls, no master of any galley or ship, nor any person soever shall give any bill of lading for goods either in the “giava” or “statii,” without specifying that they are accountable to the factory for three pence in the pound [sterling] without farther deposit; no masters, scribes, or other officials to consign goods or receive them, without a certificate from the consul of such goods as shall be either delivered in England or exported thence, on penalty of double quota for such goods as shall be consigned and received without the consul's certificate.
And as the retail dealers (bazarioti), who come by land, and by Venetian barks and galleys, import and export much merchandise from England, to such an amount that it would satisfy any good merchant,—nor can either their exports or imports be prevented,—the consul is to use all diligence, whether through the customs or by any other means soever, to ascertain the owners of the goods, and enter them as debtors on the factory's books, holding them accountable.
Every consul to make a list of all the debtors and send it to Venice to the proveditors of the factory, who are to enforce payment and a penalty of 15 per cent., in addition.
As a quantity of merchandise is brought by land from Venice to London, and in like manner exported thence for Venice, which—as it pays no “quota,” but a trifling freight as [bounty], (fn. 1) by reason of an understanding with the masters of the galleys—is sold at a much cheaper rate than goods brought by Venetian galleys and ships, which have to pay full freight and quotas, far exceeding their costs:—be all persons soever, whether aliens or Venetian subjects, bringing goods by land to Venice, by whatever road, namely, English wool and tin, bound to pay the London factory five pence per pound sterling; and in like manner for every other sort of English cloths, be they of what quality they may,—with the exception of such cloths as the Germans bring to their warehouse (fn. 2) which are exempt from this duty,—natives as well as aliens shall pay “quota” for every sort of merchandise exported from England; the consul in London and the proveditors at Venice levying those five pence in the pound as aforesaid.
As the Venetian consuls in London are not always obeyed, besides the penalties enacted by the Senate, they are to have power to inflict such as they shall think fit, and if disobeyed to take all due steps for levying the fines thus imposed; and should they lack the means of levying them in England, the proveditors for the factory in Venice to coerce the delinquents. If those who refuse payment of these fines be noblemen, their names to be sent to the palace as debtors; if plebeians or others, their property and persons to be liable for the full payment of these penalties, whereof one-fourth to belong to the proveditors of the factory [in Venice] and three-fourths to the factory in London. Should the penalties be levied in England the entire amount to belong to the factory there.
Ayes, 15. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 3.
On the 4th January, in the College, by authority of the Senate, election as proveditors [in Venice], for the London Factory, according to the Act passed:—
Piero Bragadino.
Pangratio Giustinian.
On 15th January, in the College, Silvan Capello was elected as proveditor of the London Factory in lieu of Pangratio Giustinian, who refused.
[Italian. 113 lines.]
Jan. 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. iv. p. 235. 830. English Ambassadors in Germany.
Receipt of letters from Germany, from the ambassador, Alvise Mocenigo, dated Cologne the 10th, with a little cipher.
The two English ambassadors had arrived there with 49 horses, and an escort of 200 cavalry, the roads being insecure. They are are persons of experience, and their names are Dom. Thomas Tranelo (Sir Thomas Brandon), a distinguished knight (cavalier primario), and Dom. Thomas (sic) West, the King's chaplain, an LL.D., who studied at Bologna.
So far as can be understood, the object of their mission was to prevent his Cæsarean Majesty from favouring the Earl of Suffolk, called “White Rose,” who aspires to the English crown, and is at Aix-la-Chapelle, two days' journey from Cologne, and the King of England fears him much.
They were also come to negotiate an adjustment of the disputes between France and Spain.
Mocenigo visited them, and breakfasted with them in their fashion. There then came to visit them the Spanish ambassador, with whom Mocenigo supped on that evening. Narrates the conversation, and the conclusion that there will be neither peace nor truce between France and Spain.
The English ambassadors also spoke about the Sophy (Ismael I.), etc.; were surprised at the departure of the King [of the Romans] who was gone to the frontiers of the territory of the Duke of Guelders. The baggage-carts had on that day proceeded thither with an escort of 200 cavalry, so that his Majesty will have 600 men at arms, including those of the Marquis of Brandenburg, and as many more are being sent to him by the Duke of Cleves, who is the enemy of the Duke of Guelders. According to report he (Maximilian?) will do nothing. The Duke of Guelders is gone to the King of France, having lost two battles in the territory of the Duke of Cleves, who was assisted by the neighbouring barons; others say that the Duke of Guelders is dead. The plague is raging at Cologne.
March. Sanuto Diaries, v. iv. p. 272. 831. Principal Clauses of the League between Maximilian, King of the Romans, and Henry, King of England, dated Westminster, 14 August 1502: as in Hymens Fœdera, vol. XIII., p. 22.
March 19. Sanuto Diaries, v. iv. p. 285. 832. Motion made by Marin Sanuto and his colleagues, sages for the orders, in the Senate, for a letter to be written to the Venetian Consul in London desiring him to tell King Henry to repeal the duty of a noble per butt on the wines, the Signory having taken off the four ducats per butt levied on foreign bottoms loading in Candia; and that in case of refusal, the republic would organise her wine staple in Candia.
Noes, 5.
March 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. iv. p. 285. 833. News from England.
Receipt of letters from the ambassador, Alvise Mocenigo, dated Antwerp, 19th February. News had been received that the Queen of England, after giving birth to a female child, had died, though the English ambassadors said they did not know this for certain. Writes that this Queen was the daughter of the late King Edward; a very handsome woman and of great ability (e di gran inzegno).
By a letter from the same, of the 23rd, the death of the Queen was confirmed; she was 35 years old, a very handsome woman, and in conduct very able (di gran governo); has left a son and three daughters. It is supposed that although King Henry has made the agreement with the King of the Romans, England will make a stir, and affairs there be in commotion.
June 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. v. p. 36. 834. News of England.
At this time, the wife of the King of England died. Also, in Poland, the King's brother, the Cardinal of Poland.
Aug. 5. DeliberazioniSenato Secreta. 835. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador in Hungary.
Desire him, in balancing accounts between the Republic and the King, for the Turkish subsidy to deduct 15 per cent. for the sums received by his Majesty from the Kings of France and of England.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 3, Neutrals, 1.
[Italian, 59 lines.]


  • 1. As stated repeatedly, during the voyages of the Flanders galleys, all merchandise passing between Venice and England was made to pay them freight.
  • 2. Their famous warehouse at Venice.