Venice: 1509

Pages 332-347

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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1509. Jan. 15. Misti Consiglio X., v. xxxii. 916. Decree of the Council of Ten.
The news now received from England at this important crisis deserves to be discussed with the greatest caution and secresy, lest the negotiation be disturbed or impeded.
A junta of 15 individuals, five at a time, as usual, to be elected.
This junta is to attend to all matters concerning the Pope and the Roman court.
[Latin, 28 lines.]
Jan. 15. Sanuto's Diaries, v. vii. p. 549. 917. Letters arrived from the Captain of the Flanders Galleys. Agostin da Mulla, dated London, 10th December, about his voyage and arrival there, &c., and what has been done; stating that there was a foreign ship loading 1,000 pieces of kersey. Also that the ambassadors of the Archduke of Burgundy had arrived there for the marriage of the Kind's daughter to King Charles of Castile; and they awaited the conclusion of the same.
Jan. 19. Misti Consiglio X., v. xxxii. 918. The Council of Ten and Junta appointed for this matter, to Lorenzo Giustinian, Consul in London.
By his letters of the 16th ult., lately received, have been informed of the announcement made to him by the Reverènd Dom. Pietro Carmeliano, respecting the excellent disposition towards the Signory of the King [of England]; and his desire that a good peace should be made with the Emperor, to which end the King would lend his said.
This fact had been notified to them by Nicolò da Ponte; and therefore the Doge with the Council of Ten and the Junta, by this secret letter, charge the consul to tell Dom. Pietro Carmeliano the satisfaction with which they had heard of the King's constant good will, and to request him to return the thanks of the State to his Majesty, assuring the King that the devotion with which they regard him is their genuine feeling, and does not admit of increase. With regard to the Emperor, he is to say that the Signory has ever been most devoted, not only to him (the Emperor), but to all his progenitors, most especially to his late father, whom they always considered in the light of the Republic's parent and protector; and that they have already acquainted the King of England with the causes of the war waged against them last year by the Emperor, and with the Signory's justification, whereby the King would know that they acted on compulsion and in selfdefence, according to all law, divine and human; a good truce for three years being at length sworn to between the Emperor and them.
They now perceive the laudable desire of the King of England to negotiate a good peace. They hear the proposal gratefully, as coming from a sovereign who by his wisdom and authority will know how to bring the business to a good end, and most obliged will they be to him for assuming this charge; as the State, having been ever zealous for peace, will not swerve from such terms as shall be suitable and fair.
Is to impart the whole in detail to Carmeliano for communication to the King, with repeated assurance of the State's affection; and as Carmeliano has notified the same matter to Nicolò da Ponte, the consul is to acquaint him with the present order. They are to execute the commission together, and write a joint letter to the Signory in reply.
[Italian, 37 lines.]
Jan. 19. Misti Consiglio X. 919. The Council of Ten and Junta to Lorenzo Giustinian, Consul in London.
Write this [second letter] apart, charging him to read the first word for word to Carmeliano. It would be agreeable to them, if Carmeliano should give the consul an opportunity of speaking to the King on the subject, so that by word of mouth he may acquaint the King with their opinions; in which case he is to read to the King the identical first letter. Inform Carmeliano that in the said letter they do not thank Carmeliano for his good will and exertions in favour of the Signory, in order that he may, if requisite, read the said letter to the King; yet the consul is to express their thanks distinctly by word of mouth, as they perceive the sincerity and the affection which the Carmeliano bears the State. They take good note of it, and mean to prove to him how much they appreciate it, as mentioned in other letters to Nicolò da Ponte.
Although the consul must be aware how important these matters are, and with how much judgment they must be managed, nevertheless he and Nicolò da Ponte may proceed as it seems fit, not communicating their information to any one, still less writing it to others.
Finally, he is to elicit from Carmeliano and also from the King, should he chance to speak with him, minute details of the King's intention; to transmit the intelligence with the utmost speed, regardless of expense; and to use the enclosed cipher for greater secresy.
[Italian, 22 lines.]
Jan. 30. Misti Consiglio X., v. xxxii. p. 56. 920. The Council of Ten and the Junta to Lorenzo Giustinian, Consul in London.
Wrote to him on the 19th, sending duplicates, and now, for caution, enclose triplicates.
That which was communicated to him in the King [of England's] name by Dom. Pietro Carmeliano, and which the consul imparted by letter, concerning the negotiations of Cambrai and the French proceedings, has been verified, for after concluding the peace it was understood that it had been thereby stipulated to accomplish the ruin of Italy. The plain fact is, that the Cardinal of Rouen, the author of these negotiations, aspires per fas et nefas to the popedom, on obtaining which they (the Cardinal of Rouen and Lewis XII.) purpose, moreover, getting possession of the universal temporal monarchy; and by divers stratagems they are inveigling the Emperor into this detestable undertaking, trying to deceive him as they often have done, and bring matters to such a pass that it will then be impossible to prevent the two swords, spiritual and temporal, from being, the one in the hand of Rouen, the other in the hand of the King of France—who together are two in one flesh, and would consequently act together, a result never yet witnessed, (fn. 1) but of easy realisation unless speedily thwarted by such princes as have received greater power and authority from the Almighty than the rest. The Council of Ten and the Junta will not fail doing everything on their part, and believe that many others will do the like, especially the Pope, who of his own wisdom sees the necessary consequence. They are also persuaded that King Henry will interfere, both of his goodness, and also for the safety of the Christian world, which the Infidels are invited by these disturbances to attack.
It is notorious to everybody that the State kept faith with the King of France, and did for him and his dominions all she could have done for her own; nay, she removed the war from his territory to that of the Republic. At this present, contrary to pledged faith, contrary to the clauses and oaths of the mutual alliance, in violation of infinite promises, the King of France has declared himself their enemy.
The consul is personally and privately to communicate all these things to the King, but if unable to obtain an audience is to do so through Carmeliano. Having effected this, he is to let his Majesty know that the Signory are certain he of his wisdom will ponder well the whole matter as becomes its magnitude and importance. He is to exhort his Majesty to acquaint the Emperor with what has been done, so that, whilst time yet serves, he may avoid failing into the snares so often laid for him. Last of all, he is to urge the King to continue his good offices to peace between the Emperor and the Signory, because, as stated in former letters, they do not mean to depart from what is just.
The consul is to expedite the execution of their orders, and transmit constant intelligence by letter, regardless of expense; and as they apprehend that the couriers will be unable to pass in safety through France, he is to try and arrange for the secure conveyance of the letters through Germany, endeavouring to procure leave to employ the King of England's couriers, to be paid by the consul, or to obtain a safeconduct from the Emperor for the couriers. He is to contrive that they may be enabled to communicate with him. That he may write safely, enclose a cipher for his use, not the same as the one sent in former letters.
Ayes, 29. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 1.
[Italian, 55 lines.]
Jan. 30. Misti Consiglio X., v. xxxii. p. 66. 921. Andrea Badoer appointed Ambassador to England.
Motion made in the Council of Ten, together with the Junta for the affairs of Rome:—
That there be forthwith elected a nobleman [as ambassador] to the King of England, instead of “Ser” Hironimo Giustinan, who has refused. The individual elected to receive for his expenses one hundred ducats per month, from month to month, for which he is not bound to show any account to the Signory; and during the whole period of his stay in England he is to keep five servants and as many horses, including the horse for his own person.
Ayes, 28. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.
Elected “Ser” Andrea Badoer, son of the late “Ser” Giovanni.
[Latin, 5 lines.]
Feb. 12. Misti Consiglio X., v. xxxii. p. 73. 922. The Council of Ten and Junta to Lorenzo Giustinian, Consul in London.
It had been their intention to send an embassy to the King of England, but as the roads are closed, and the business does not admit of delay, have despatched incognito the nobleman Andrea Badoer, who is familiar with the English tongue, and is travelling as an Englishman. Believe that he will thus be enabled to pass. On his arrival he shall first announce himself to the consul, and then publicly to the King, as the State's ambassador. Were unable to give him either credentials or his commission, lest they should cause his arrest. This commission they now forward to the consul, of the following tenor:
Thou, Andrea Badoer, art to present thyself to the consul and also to Nicolò da Ponte, and, after obtaining from them all necessary instruction, to go into the presence of the King. On obtaining a private audience from him, in the presence of the aforesaid consul and Ponte, announce that thou are sent as our ambassador to deliver our letters of credence, and discover to him the deeply rooted and detestable greediness of the King of France and of the Cardinal of Rouen (George d'Amboise); how they shamefully broke faith, oaths, and their alliance with the State, unmindful of the Signory's great services in securing to them the Milanese in observance of her promise, and thus perilously drawing the war into the Venetian territory; and finally how, consigning to oblivion endless promises made to the State by letter and their own word of mouth, they are preparing to invade the Signory's possessions without any legitimate cause.
Further, that having lately received notice from his Highness of the ill will of the King of France and of the negotiations of Cambrai, we caused him to be thanked by our consul; and now thank him again, with all possible earnestness acknowledging our very great obligation. That his Majesty having also expressed his wish that a good peace should ensue between us and the Emperor, and offered his assistance to this effect, we accepted this his loving offer, and requested him to assume that charge, as doubtless a. good result would be obtained, we being most obsequiously disposed towards the Emperor, as we have always been towards his progenitors and predecessors, and most especially towards his father of blessed memory, to which must be added mutual conformity (mutua conformità), and the commercial relations of our State with all Germany.
What took place last year was compulsory with us in selfdefence, and not in breach of faith, which we have never broken with any one; a truce was proposed, and accepted by the State, who included the King of France, naming him especially as we were bound to do by the articles of the alliance.
This truce we made very readily with the hope of subsequently making a good and perpetual peace with the Emperor; and we are now prepared not only to do this but likewise to come to a good understanding with him, being now free from the tie which last year impeded us. By no law divine or human is the Emperor bound to keep faith with one who has so often betrayed him in most important matters, as is notorious to every one. Moreover, his Majesty of his great wisdom should consider that if the King of France is allowed to occupy Italy the immediate consequence will be the violent usurpation of the popedom, to which Rouen ardently aspires. Thus would France become monarch of the universe by the occupation of the Empire, which would certainly follow, and which with the spiritual authority she would then unite in herself. Such unbecoming and immoderate cravings should be opposed by every Christian and religious sovereign, especially by such as have the greatest grace and power from the Almighty, like his royal Highness of England.
We are certain that he has already commenced the negotiation with the Emperor, and thou shalt pray him to continue it both by letter and by word of mouth, as we doubt not it will obtain an auspicious result, knowing how much influence he exercises with the Emperor, to whom we likewise, following the most sage suggestions of his royal Highness, have intimated and will continue to make clear by all possible means our excellent disposition; for it it would be very absurd and incredible that, after so formally making a triennial truce with the State, he should choose to break it, and violate his faith to us his most devoted servants, for the sake of keeping it with his enemies and affording them opportunity to injure his Cæsarean Majesty himself, the holy Roman empire, and all Germany.
This is the substance of thy statement; and as we cannot come to other details, not knowing what his royal Highness may have done in this matter, and moreover the distance between us being so great that much time is required for the transmission of letters, we tell thee summarily, and in one word, what thou art to do, viz., labour with all thine ability to induce his Majesty of England to reconcile and unite us to the Emperor. Thou shalt also dispose him against France in order to deter her from the invasion of Italy; and the greater and more speedy his demonstration to this effect, the more will it prove to the purpose; and should he forthwith write a strong letter to the King of France in such grave terms as his Majesty of his wisdom will well know how to employ, it would be a very profitable and salutary commencement; and it would also produce great effect, were his Majesty to write to the Pope, acquainting him with his mind, and pointing out the perils of Christendom, which would be augmented by the introduction of such troubles into Italy, and most especially by the disorder of our State; and we consider it indubitable that his Holiness, who is well aware of the snares laid for him, would conform himself throughout to the will of his royal Highness.
There is no occasion for us to say more, save that the negotiation which we place in thy hand is of extreme importance, and therefore the more strenuously thou performest this commission the more wilt thou deserve praise, commendation, and reward from our Signory. And as it is requisite to devise means for the safe passage to and fro of the couriers and messengers, as written by us in other letters to the consul, endeavour that his royal Majesty do contrive some good method so that they have safe passage through Germany or by such other road as he shall think fit, so that the negotiations effected by us may the more speedily come to a good end by the regular receipt of intelligence.
In fullest and most earnest language declare to the Rev. Dom. Pietro Carmeliano, how much he is loved and appreciated by us, on account of his sincerity and especial deserts towards the State, for which we mean to show such gratitude to him and his that he will perceive the fruit of his good and faithful services; and avail thyself of his favour with the King, as we are certain he will not fail us, in like manner as he has not been found wanting hitherto. Endeavour to keep us most carefully acquainted with all events, and remain there as our ambassador, in such fashion as becomes the dignity of our Signory, until we send thee other commands.
Postscript.—This is Badoer's commission, which you (the consul) will consign to him. If from any accident he have not yet arrived, we direct you, together with Nicolò da Ponte, to execute it with all despatch, as the circumstances admit of no delay, and to acquaint his Majesty with the mission of our above mentioned ambassador in the manner aforesaid.
Ayes, 28. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
Sending this present by way of Germany, they do not transmit the credentials, lest the leaden seal cause their miscarriage. Will forward them through another channel. In the meanwhile, should the ambassador arrive, the consul is to certify to the King, in the State's name, that what Badoer shall represent to him will be their own words, thus supplying the want of the letter of credence.
[Italian, 94 lines.]
Feb. 16. Misti Consiglio X., v. xxxii. p. 74. 923. Instruction from the Council of Ten and Junta to the Imperial Ambassador Dom. Luca de Renaldi.
Being aware of his prudence, ability, and address, as likewise of his loyalty and devotion to the Emperor Maximilian, of whom they always have been and are the most respectful worshippers (observantissimi cultores), think fit to avail themselves of his intervention to disclose to his Majesty certain matters concerning his honour and interest, and, in addition to their ample instructions by word of mouth, now briefly recapitulate certain points:—Expatiate on their long tried devotion to the Emperor and his ancestors, and on the conformity between the whole State of Venice and the entire German nation. If last year their deeds seemed at variance with this inclination, and if they were unable to obey the Emperor, this did not proceed from any lack of desire to do even much greater things for his Majesty, but from an inability to act, they being then bound by another engagement. From that tie are now released, as they told him, and are therefore ready and anxious to return to their natural course, the Emperor likewise being bound by no law, either divine or human, to keep faith with those who break it so easily with others, and who so often and so unworthily have infringed and violated their oath to his Cæsarean Majesty.
Their observance and reverence for the Emperor and the holy Roman empire, coupled with their zeal for the Christian commonwealth, whereof his Majesty is the head, protector, and governor, induce them therefore to explain to him the snares now prepared, under the veil and pretext of advantage, in order to usurp the imperial dignity, and transfer the same from Germany to France. This result is to be effected by the invasion of Italy and occupation of the apostolic see in order to secure for France the spiritual and temporal monarchy of that country. The Emperor should interpose in time, not only for his own safety, but also for that of the Christian religion, which will otherwise incur great peril from the Infidels. Are desirous to form a perpetual alliance with the Emperor. Offer and promise him all the resources at their disposal, including money, for the recovery of the Milanese territory, now in the hands of the French, and are willing to cede the same territory either to him or his assigns. Agree to advance 200,000 Rhenish guilders for the above purpose: 50,000 to be paid on the ratification of a proper treaty; 50,000 on the Emperor commencing the Milanese expedition with an army; 50,000 at the end of a month from that period, and the residue at the end of the second month from the same period;—the whole sum to be applied at the Emperor's sole pleasure. Declare their firm intention of adhering perpetually to the Emperor, and of considering him the father and protector of their State. Are of opinion that under the same chief and head some honourable expedition might be undertaken against the Infidels. Are persuaded that the Emperor will accept their offers, together with so excellent an opportunity of avenging the many bitter injuries done him by his real, ancient and natural enemies, and that all Italy, who abhor the French, will side with the Emperor.
Motion made, that should Dom. Luca de Renaldi bring the said negotiation to a good end, he is to receive benefices in the Venetian territory of the annual value of 2,000 ducats; that, until put in possession, he is to be guaranteed 1,000 ducats a year from the funds of the Council of Ten; and that there be forthwith given as a gift to Dom. Luca 500 Rhenish guilders.
Ayes, 15.
[Latin, 64 lines.]
March 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 10. 924. Letters arrived from London from the merchants, dated the 17th and 19th February, stating that the King of the Romans was at Brussels taking his pleasure, nor was there any rumour of war.
March 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 14. 925. Henry VII.
This morning a letter came from the King of England to the Signory, stating that by letters from his friend the Cardinal Adrian (Castellesi), who is at Trani, he has heard of the love the Signory bears him. Reciprocates it thoroughly, and returns thanks for the good greeting given to his envoy who came for the Wippach wine (vin di Vipao), &c.—A good and very acceptable letter.
March 15. Misti Consiglio X., v. xxxii. p. 83. 926. Secret negociations with England, the Pope, and the Emperor.
Motion made in the Council of Ten and the Junta to the effect that the negociations with the Pope, the Emperor, and the King of England be communicated to the Senate, with very strict injunctions to secrecy, as decreed by the Ten in these matters.
Ayes, 25. Noes, 4. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 11 lines.]
March 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 10. 927. Secret negociations with the Emperor and England.
According to a decree passed by the Council of Ten and the Junta, the papal party (fn. 2) have been excluded and a most stringent oath to secrecy has been administered. Read to the Senate during the space of well nigh six hours the secret negociation treated in England and Germany, the commission given to Zuan Piero Stella, who went as secretary to the King of the Romans in Flanders, accompanied by Alvise di Piero; three reports made by Octavian di Calepio, who went in the name of Zacaria Contarini,, captain of Cremona, to Trent and Inspruck, and lately to Salzburg to Dom. Paul Lichtenstein, who was holding a certain diet there, to ascertain whether the King of the Romans would fairly negotiate peace with the Signory; also a letter from the King (of the Romans), dated Ghent, 26th February, addressed to Dom. Paul (Lichtenstein), professing good will, but replying to Zacaria Contarini, that he could say nothing until after the diet convoked at Worms for the middle of Lent had been held; also that Dom. Paul and the Bishop of Trent are favourable to the Signory. and do not wish for war.
The negociation with the King of England was also divulged, and the commission given to Andrea Badoer, who is gone incognito as ambassador to England, and is to confer there with the consul Lorenzo Giustinian, and one Nicolò da Ponte, a Venetian merchant.
March 19. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 17. 928. Instructions for the Venetian Ambassador in England.
Motion made in the Senate by the Sages to write to Andrea Badoer, the ambassador in England, detailing to him all the instructions given to Zuan Piero Stella, so that, together with the consul Lorenzo Giustinian and Nicolò da Ponte, they may induce the King of England to persuade the King of the Romans to accept the State's proposals.
Amendment proposed by Andrea Venier, Sage of the Council:—That in the said instructions there be notified all the offers made to the King of the Romans.
Reply made by the knight Paulo Pisani, Sage of the Council.
Amendment of Venier seconded by Luca Zeno, and carried by a majority.
March 19. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 929. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Recently received letters from Lorenzo Giustinian, the consul in London, dated 22nd to 24th February, announcing that he had executed the orders given him concerning the King, with whom he had held a long conference. Charge him (Badoer) to endeavour to obtain audience of the King immediately, and after thanking his Majesty for his affection towards the State, to add that the Signory, having by letters from the consul heard the hint given by the King, that by some means they should negotiate their reconciliation with the King of the Romans, had determined to take measures forthwith to that end. Have been unable to do so previously, to avoid breaking faith with France; but are now at liberty to act, for the King of France, without any legitimate cause, has violated the alliance, as known to the whole world. Had sent a secretary to open their heart to the King of the Romans, not so much in general terms as in detail, and now give the particulars in compliance with the request of the King of England, as follow:—Offer the King of the Romans all their troops, both horse and foot, for the recovery of the Milanese from the French, which province when recovered is to be given to whomsoever the King of the Romans shall think fit. Will also advance a considerable sum of money, and furnish all the means and forces of the Republic, and enter into a sincere and perpetual union with the holy Roman empire. Having spoken as aforesaid to the King of England, is to urge him, of his authority and wisdom, to favour so good a work for the welfare of the Christian commonwealth and advantage of his friends, considering moreover the well known malignant and gigantic projects of the French.
Is to execute the present commission alone, for greater repute; but to obtain all such information and favour as he shall deem necessary from the State's faithful subjects [in London]. To address Dom. Pietro Carmeliano in language calculated to confirm his present good bias, and declare to him the Signory's wish to do what may be to his profit and pleasure. To avail himself of Carmeliano's advice and introduction to the King.
Should the King insist on knowing the amount of money offered by the State to the King of the Romans, to name the sum of 200,000 Rhenish florins.
[Italian, 63 lines.]
March 20. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 930. The Doge and Senate to Lorenzo Giustinian, Consul in London.
On the ambassador's (Badoer) arrival, the consul is to deliver the enclosed letters and the cipher and to assist in deciphering. In case of the ambassador's nonarrival, he shall execute the contents of the said letters, and acquaint the State speedily with the result.
[Italian, 7 lines.]
March 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 23. 931. News from England.
Receipt of letters from England in cipher from the consul Lorenzo Giustinian, dated 7th March. The King well disposed The galleys are there, and the King directs them to load as much as they can, and not to fear.
April 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 55. 932. News from England.
Receipt of news from London, through a private letter to Mafio Bernardo from a friend of his, dated 23rd March—how a Venetian merchant had arrived in London, by name Andrea Badoer, a great linguist, who was seeking for a house, and was supposed to be ambassador; but the Signory has received no letters from said Badoer.
April 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 63. 933. News from England.
Receipt of letters from the ambassador Andrea Badoer, dated London, 20 March, announcing his arrival there, having encountered great perils on the way. His horse fell upon him; subsequently he was well nigh drowned. After conferring with the consul Giustinian and [the merchant] Da Ponte, he sent to tell the King, who was ill, of his arrival. The King expressed satisfaction, and when better will give him audience. In the meanwhile, would array himself as an ambassador, and had found his commission there, &c.
April 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 93. 934. Receipt of News, that down to the 14th, the King [of France] had not quitted Milan because the King of England was in extremis; though through other channels it is heard that today or tomorrow he will be in Milan. (fn. 3)
April 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. 935. Cardinal Adrian, Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Arrival at Lido in the past night of the Cardinal Adrian (Castellesi, Bishop of Bath and Wells); he came in the vessels with the flag of the late captain General Priuli, accompanied by Alvise Darmer, late governor of Trani.
The Doge went to meet him at Lido with the barges, as also did the Patriarch, the Spanish and Ferrarese ambassadors, Giacomo da Pesaro, Bishop of Paphos, and other patricians, but the Sages of the College remained in consultation.
The Cardinal landed at San Georgio Maggiore, where a house had been prepared for him by the Old Accountant's Office, and it being St. George's Day he went into the church; and ultimately the Doge escorted him to his apartments.
This Cardinal has a bishopric in England, which yields him an annual rental of 6,000 ducats, and other benefices besides. He is hostile to the Pope on account of certain letters which were written by him (Adrian) to the King of England, and which the King returned to the Pope: so the Cardinal being in fear for his life quitted Rome for Trani, a Venetian possession in Puglia, where he was well received by order of the Signory; but the Pope still endeavouring to set him into his power, he came for greater safety to Venice. Has only eight persons with him; says he shall stay either here or at Padua for a few days, and then go to England.
April 24. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 936. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in England, Andrea Badoer.
Have not heard from him for many days, his last letters being dated 23d March. They likewise were unable to write, owing to the difficulty of finding messengers; send the present by a messenger despatched by the Cardinal Adrian (Bishop of Bath and Wells). The King of France has lately declared war against the State through a herald, saying he did so because last year the State broke faith to him by forming a confederacy with the King of the Romans; the amount of truth contained in which assertion is notorious to the whole world. Even before this announcement the French troops ravaged the Cremonese, and took some unimportant places. The King of France is said to be now near Milan in person, and to make great threats.
The papal troops have in like manner invaded the territory of Cervia, plundering and slaying with such horrible and unheard of cruelty that the Infidels could not have done worse, nor has it ever been possible for the Signory to appease the Pope by any offers even of the Venetian towns of Rimini and Faenza. The Pope does everything at the instigation of the King of France, who blinds him to his own interests and peril, as well as to those of the apostolic see, and to the imminent ruin of all Italy. Have no news from the imperial court, much to their surprise, their secretary having arrived there long ago. Believe all this result to proceed from the intrigues of the French, who keep the King of the Romans, as it were, under restraint, to bring him to their desires. Expatiate on the importance of these facts: if they be not provided for immediately, the King of France will easily obtain that [universal] dominion alluded to in the ambassador's commission. Is to acquaint the King of England with all particulars, and encourage him to act whilst time serves, and first of all, to persuade the King of the Romans not to trust those who have so often deceived him, but to turn back to that road which will lead to his profit and honour and to that of the holy Roman empire. Announce the arrival at Venice of the Cardinal Adrian, who has been received with honor, as due both for his own sake and on account of the King of England, who, as known to the State, loved him, and recommended him by letter;—were assuredly gratified by seeing his right reverend lordship, in whom they had recognized many singular endowments, very worthy of so chief a grade in the Church of God. Will accommodate him with everything possible, on both these accounts.
The Cardinal has told them that he kept an agent at the English court, by name D. Polydoro (Vergil), with whom he (Badoer) may confer, and make use of his (Polydoro's) favor and assistance in such matters as should seem fitting.
[Italian, 48 lines.]
April 25. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 101. 937. Departure of Adrian Cardinal Bishop of Bath and Wells.
St. Mark's Day. The Doge went to church as usual. In the morning Cardinal Adrian departed for Padua, where he will remain some days, and then proceed to England. At Padua he lodged in the Foscari house, in the “Arena,” at the “Eremitani.” It was said he would rent the Arena. He was accompanied by Alvise Darmer, who is his very great friend.
April 26. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 106. 938. Private Letters from England through the Florentines, dated 29th March, that the Flanders galleys, Agostin da Mulla captain, were on the eve of departure, having loaded and hired two barks for their safe convoy: but nothing was heard of the Kind's illness.
April 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 110. 939. Henry VII.
Letters arrived last evening from England, from the ambassador Andrea Badoer, in cipher, dated 29th March, stating that the King of England was very ill and utterly without hope of recovery. The King had also written to France desiring the King of France to observe the articles stipulated with him, not to molest any vessel under any flag on its voyage to and from England; so he must not molest the Signory's galleys.
April 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 113. 940. The Venetian Ambassador in England.
Receipt of a letter from Andrea Badoer, the ambassador, dated London, 29th March, the second letter received from him. Narrates his journey and arrival there with great peril. The sick King was very ill and his life in danger. The King sent to say that when recovered he should be glad to see Badoer. Nicolò da Ponte negotiates with the King and is his friend. Badoer has arrayed himself like an ambassador, but has no money, and so demands a remittance, which is requisite to make an honourable figure. It seemed strange to all there, especially to the Florentines, that he should come incognito. The King had issued an order for the galleys and ships of the Venetians to be well treated throughout the island, which had caused much comment, and also suspicion of an understanding between England and Venice.
Motion made by the sages in the Senate, and carried, for a letter to be written to the ambassador in England, desiring him if possible, to obtain audience of the King, and should the King die, then to condole with the son, congratulate him on his accession, and pray him to act against France, because. France seeks the ruin of the Archduke (Charles of Burgundy).
Also for bills of exchange for 400 ducats to be sent to the ambassador and advices of current events.
April 28. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 941. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Repeat instructions contained in their letters forwarded on the 25th, complaining of the insatiable ambition of France.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters dated 29th March, and as he announces the dangerous illness of the King, whose death might since have occurred, the fact having even been asserted by many men of Florence, charge him in that case to condole with his son and successor the new King on his father's demise, and congratulate him on his own accession. Is then to follow the instructions contained in his original commission, and urge an immediate attack on the King of France, alleging amongst other things the facility now offered for any invasion, France being at this present utterly ungarrisoned in the direction of England.
Is also to avail himself of the favour of the Reverend Carmeliano and of any others he may deem fit, to induce the new King, who the Doge and Senate understand is by nature most thoroughly inclined that way, to act against France. Charge him to endeavour to bias those who govern the new King, and to promise the usual gratitude of the State to such as further its policy. Desire him to return most ample thanks for the royal letters for the security of the Flanders galleys. Praise his diligence. Respecting the suit made by the Pope to have an English ambassador for the Turkish affairs, acquaint him first of all that his Holiness does not make the demand for that purpose, but solely for the sake of giving repute and favour to the stir, which he, together with the King of France, has raised against Christians. Is desired, therefore, should the King of England send an ambassador to Rome, to exhort the Pontiff to make peace with Christians, and to turn his arms against Infidels as is his duty. Should he confer with the new King, is to justify the Signory's proceedings by the arguments with which he is well acquainted, so as to impress him with the truth and confirm his good opinion of the Signory. In conclusion, in the event of the royal demise, is to use every effort to keep the new King well affected towards the State. Order for a remittance of 400 ducats to the ambassador for his expenses.
[Italian, 40 lines.]
May 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 145. 942. Death of Henry VII. and Accession of Henry VIII.
Receipt of letters from Rome, dated the 3rd and 4th, stating that sure news had been received there of the death of the King of England on the 20th of April, and his son had succeeded to the kingdom peaceably; and this the Pope said in the Consistory. The truth of this was also known on the 6th at Lucca, as read in letters dated the 20th, received from London by the bankers Bonvisi, (fn. 4) who have a bank there; and that down to that day, the Flanders galleys, commanded by Agostin da Mula, were there. The new King is — years old, a worthy King and most hostile to France; it is thought he will indubitably invade France, and has perhaps had our galleys detained, for the conveyance of troops. He is the son-in-law of the King of Spain. His name— and it seems that he was crowned there on the 26th. The King his father was called Henry, — years of age; was a very great miser, but a man of vast ability, and had accumulated so much gold that he is supposed to have more than well nigh all the other Kings of Christendom. This King, his son, is liberal and handsome, the friend of Venice and the enemy of France; and the ambassador Andrea Badoer and [Nicolò] da Ponte, who is intimate with the King, being on the spot, and his councillors being hostile to the French, the King will assuredly take the offensive: so that this intelligence is considered most satisfactory.
May 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 169. 943. News from England.
Receipt by the merchants of letters from London, dated 26th April, namely, from — Grimani, Ferigo Morosini, and Lorenzo Pasqualigo, announcing the King's death for certain on the 21st, and the accession of the King, his son, who swore as usual to wage war on the King of France immediately after the coronation; and that news will soon be heard of his invading France. Also on the 26th the Flanders galleys quitted Hampton; write account of their cargoes.
May 16. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 944. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Have written twice lately, desiring him to condole with the King on the death of his father, and to rejoice at his own most auspicious accession. It is now fit they should acquaint the King that on the 14th inst, their army, being in the Ghiaradadda, was defeated by the French, but with small loss of life. After the rout, the troops were reforming, to check, if possible, the enemy's progress. Desire him to inform the King that they, considering his Majesty their principal friend, and wishing under all circumstances to continue the friendship and observance maintained with his father, acquaint him with this event, expressing their conviction that it will have rendered the King of France so elate and haughty, that not only will he prepare to make himself emperor, but to become monarch of the world, and that, unless the Christian princes undertake without delay to oppose him, he will, without doubt, effect his project. That therefore his Majesty [of England] should forthwith take steps to thwart such plans: nor will they on their part fail doing their utmost to check the fury and rage of the King of France; though, unless England, the one power able to effect a diversion, speedily make some notable provision, there will no longer be any remedy. Is to do his utmost to prevail upon the King to act instantaneously, the rout of the Ghiaradadda rendering it very difficult to stay the progress of the French.
Is to use the agency of the Brescian secretary (Carmeliano), should he deem it profitable, and of such lords and others as shall seem fit to him, promising them in the State's name that they will never forget such assistance, and will show gratitude proportioned to the quality of the service, than which they could receive none greater.
[Italian, 41 lines.]
May 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. viii. p. 219. 945. Letters arrived from the Ambassador in England, Andrea Badoer, dated London, 15th April, narrating how he is there without plate; cannot do honour to the Signory; would require money, &c. The King was ill, but had sent some of his councillors to him, who told him to state the object of his embassy; so he said his coming was caused by the attack on the Signory by the King of France. They expressed regret, said that the King would act, but was prevented by illness, and showed him a brief written by the Pope to the King, inviting him to act against the Turks and Infidels; to which the King had answered, that he lauded the project, but was unable to comply by reason of his malady,—that he was pleased at the peace made between the King of the Romans and the King of France, but grieved to hear that France was hostile to the Signory of Venice, which fact was at variance with an attack on the Infidels, as the Signory is a power which might do much with a fleet, wherefore the Pope should see to allaying these dissensions, &c. Forwards copies of the brief and letter.
Postscript.—Today, the 21st, the Kiug has died, and is succeeded by his son, who is gone to Westminster, as usual, where he will remain till after the coronation. The deceased King had written to the King of the Romans to provide for these disagreements between France and the Signory, and wrote to the King of France to observe the stipulation between them, that all ships and other vessels, to whomsoever they may belong, bound to or from the island, be at liberty to make the ports of France; wherefore he must not maltreat Venetian vessels. This new King is magnificent, liberal, and a great enemy of the French, and will be the friend of the Signory.


  • 1. Et consequenter tirerieno cum si, cosa che mai per li tempi preteriti è sta veduta.
  • 2. Namely, individuals connected with the court of Rome through churchmen, their relations.
  • 3. There were two contradictory reports, one that Lewis XII. hesitated to quit Milan and take the field, when, on the 14th April, he heard of the expected death of Henry VII.; the other that Lewis XII., instead of being at Milanon the 14th April, was not expected to arrive there until the 22nd or 23rd.
  • 4. The “Bonvisi,” alias “Bonvixi,” of London, had a firm at Lucca, to whom they announced the death of Henry VII.