Venice: July 1521

Pages 136-152

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1869.

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July 1521

July 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 74. 244. Setting of the Midsummer Watch.
Letter from Lodovico Spinelli, Secretary of the Venetian Ambassador in England, to his brother Gasparo, Secretary of the Venetian Ambassador in France.
I will describe the pageant performed by the Londoners on the eves of St. John and St. Peter, for the ceremony on both occasions was the same; (fn. 1) nor do I believe that anywhere else in the world a similar mark of rejoicing is usual.
This entertainment lasted from 11 p.m. until 2 in the morning, and was conducted as follows:
First came some 15 men all in armour, with cressets, (fn. 2) followed by drummers with a very tall canvas giant, armed with bow, arrows, sword, and buckler, so constructed that he turned about from side to side, looking in every direction.
After this company marched 300 archers, all in armour cap-à-pie.
Then came another band of musicians with 50 pikemen, also armed in like manner in steel armour, and they were followed by a band of halberdiers also armed.
Next came another band of musicians, with 50 men and naked boys dyed black like devils, (fn. 3) with the dart and buckler in their hands, goading the followers of Pluto, who was on a pulpit under a canopy seated on a serpent that spat fire; he himself being naked, with a drawn sword in his hand so contrived that, when he brandished it, it made the serpent vomit very fetid sulphuric fire-balls: and on the pulpit in front of Pluto were figures of an ox, a lion, and some serpents.
Another band of steel-clad halberdiers marched next, preceding all the Prophets, with the tree of life (fn. 4) sprouting from the belly of a recumbent male figure, and by certain mechanism the Prophets turned about from one side to the other.
They were followed by a band of halberdiers, next to whom came a platform on which was a castle accompanied by musicians, and within it some armed men, who as they moved caused the drawbridges to fall and rise, and on the walls were men standing with stones in their hands for its defence against a Turkish horseman in pursuit, armed with a very long tin sword tinged with Wood, who terrified those within, shouting in English [“wo be”?].
Then came another band of halberdiers, followed by choristers on foot in white surplices, who preceded a stage on which was a very beautiful little girl under a canopy of brocade, representing the Virgin Mary, with four boys, also in white surplices, chanting “lauds.” This canopy was covered with canvas painted red and artistically arranged, falling in festoons from the summit of the canopy to the ground.
Next came a band of halberdiers with a stage, on which was Saint George, in armour, choking a big dragon and delivering Saint Margaret.
Then followed a company dancing the morris dance, preceding a fine band of the city constables in armour with doublets of silk and cloth of gold and [gold] chains; and the mayor in armour on horseback clad in crimson damask, with his sword-bearer in armour before him, according to the custom here,—for he is never wont to go abroad unless preceded by the sword,—and with the two sheriffs on horseback, in armour, but with crimson surcoats, two pages, likewise on horseback, carrying their helmets. There were also some musketeers and a great number of torch-bearers.
Next came a band of halberdiers, behind whom, on a pulpit, was the isle of Patmos with Saint John the Evangelist and some towers, from one of which he was leaning, and beneath were two little boys.
Another band of halberdiers followed, with musicians and a stage, on which was Herod at table, with Herodias' daughter, the tumbler, and the executioner who beheaded St. John the Baptist, who was represented as being in prison on the pulpit described, above. (fn. 5)
Then came a band of some 2,000 halberdiers, all accompanied from first to last by cresset bearers, and when they had passed, the spectators of both sexes, who were in very great number, returned home. The inhabitants, being apprehensive lest, as usual, these armed men should raise some tumult, kept very strict watch throughout the city. (fn. 6)
From London, the 1st of July 1521. Registered by Sanuto, 24th July.
July 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 4. 245. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
A new ambassador has arrived here from the King of England, (fn. 7) and urged King Francis to empower King Henry to make the compromise, as the Emperor was content to do so. King Francis is willing that King Henry should act as a friendly mediator, but not as an arbitrator.
Dijon, 1st of July. Registered by Sanuto, 8th July.
July 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 35. 246. The Same to the Same.
The ambassador from the King of England has gone back to England with the reply received from his most Christian Majesty. (fn. 8)
Argilly, 2nd July. Registered by Sanuto, 15th July.
July 2. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 32, St. Mark's Library. 247. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
On 20th June the King of Denmark arrived at Antwerp with nine ships. It is maintained that he is come in order to join the Emperor against France, and that, besides the nine vessels now at Antwerp, there are others on the way with infantry. But the opinion that he is come on a mere visit seems the more credible, as no rejoicings have been made at Brussels.
There is no news from England. Affairs in that quarter appear to have cooled exceedingly.
Brussels, 2nd July 1521.
[Italian, 4 pages.]
July 4. Contarini's Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 33. 248. The Same to the Same. (fn. 9)
Yesterday the King of Denmark made his entry here, after dining midway between Mechlin and this place.
At about 5 p.m. the Emperor mounted on horseback, accompanied by us three ambassadors, namely, the Nuncio [Caracciolo], the envoy from England [Spinelli], and myself, we having received notice to this effect; all the princes, lords, and gentlemen of the Court having likewise assembled with their attendants, numbering some 600 horse.
The Emperor wore a doublet of figured cloth of silver, and took to horse in the park, where we were awaiting him, and there made a slight personal display of horsemanship, performing sundry equestrian feats with much agility, thus eliciting universal applause. Then he proceeded to meet the King of Denmark, riding well nigh a distance of six Italian miles.
The King of Denmark came on a common cart, (fn. 10) such as the natives of the neighbouring cities of Antwerp, Ghent, &c. employ for travelling purposes; he sat quite by himself, all his attendants being on horseback.
When they arrived at the distance of an arbalast shot one from the other, the Emperor halted, the spot chancing to be abroad meadow, and the King of Denmark descended from the cart and mounted a hackney.
His Danish Majesty wore a doublet of black satin, with a black cloth cape in the Spanish fashion, and on his head was a black velvet cap with a pendent pearl.
The horsemen having then formed a double line, the Emperor and the King rode along it, spurring towards each other. When the Emperor motioned to dismount, the King of Denmark anticipated him, and was first on foot, the Emperor following his example. They then embraced cap in hand.
On resuming their bonnets the “Audiencier” (fn. 11) acted as interpreter, and the usual compliments were exchanged, the Emperor speaking French, and the King of Denmark German.
From what he (Contarini) understood, the King said, amongst other things, that from his intense desire to see the Emperor he had not scrupled to traverse 100 German leagues incognito, passing through an enemy's country. He then made great offers of service, which the Emperor reciprocated becomingly, the conversation lasting nearly a quarter of an hour, after which they remounted their horses, the halt having been of such duration that the ambassadors and some of the other personages had time to present their respects to the King and to kiss his hand.
Proceeding onwards, the Emperor wanted to place the King on his right hand, to which he would, however, never consent; nay, as a mark of respect, he chose to ride at a little distance, somewhat in the rear, which the Emperor constantly perceiving, waited for him, and rode by his side; and they talked together without an interpreter.
They entered Brussels half an hour after sunset by the light of innumerable torches, bonfires blazing in the streets, the houses being illuminated, and decorated with tapestry and cloths of silk, flowers, and foliage, as marks of rejoicing.
With this pomp the King of Denmark was escorted to the lodging assigned him, viz., the palace of the Count of Nassau, at a short distance from that of the Emperor. On passing the Imperial palace, the King urged the Emperor strongly not to accompany him any farther, but the Emperor insisted on riding with him into the courtyard of the Nassau palace.
This evening (4th July) the Emperor gave a banquet to the King, and went to conduct him from his dwelling. On entering the banqueting hall together they were met at the door by the Lady Margaret and by the Queen widow of Aragon [Germaine de Foix], whom the King kissed in the French fashion; and after some conversation the four sat down to supper alone.
After supper there was an entertainment, and both their Majesties commenced dancing with the young gentlewomen. “And even now, at this second hour of the night, it is still in progress; young sovereigns such as these not tiring themselves easily.”
Describes the King of Denmark, as follows:—“He is from 36 to 40 years old; his countenance indicates gravity and spirit; (fn. 12) he wears his beard curled in the Italian fashion, and not like the Germans; his hair likewise being wavy, rather than straight. He is of ordinary stature, rather tall than short, and well proportioned, neither spare nor corpulent.”
He came by land, and not with his ships as reported by the Imperialists; his retinue consisting but of six individuals. They travelled post. The Chancellor assured him (Contarini) that the King rode 200 German leagues in 12 days, and performed half the journey incognito, traversing an enemy's country. According to report the Emperor will make use of him in the present war, by reason of his skill in military matters.
Brussels, 4th July 1521.
[Italian, 4 pages.]
July 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 71. 249. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Told by the French ambassador [De la Bâtie] that Cardinal Wolsey complained of King Francis' first reply; that he so long delayed answering, and had marched his army into Castille, and was under Logrono. The ambassador had justified King Francis, saying he had not entered Castille, and was willing that King Henry should act as mediator; so that Cardinal Wolsey was pacified.
The Emperor has apparently requested King Henry to confer with him at Calais; and the King answered he would send Cardinal Wolsey to act in his name.
Wishes to return home, and requests that an ambassador may be elected in his stead.
Arrival in London of an envoy [Haneton] from the Emperor. The Emperor will not compromise, unless the King of France first surrenders the kingdom of Navarre; being apprehensive that as France has conquered it, King Henry may say nothing more about its restitution. Therefore his Majesty has sent back Sir Richard [Wyngfeld] to the Emperor.
Dated 4th July. Registered by Sanuto, 24th July.
July 5. Contarini's Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 34. 250. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
On that morning asked the Chancellor [Gattinara] what news he had from the King of England, as he has influence with both the Emperor and the King. The Chancellor replied:—
“The King of England wished to make peace, and has great authority with the Emperor, but not to the extent of inducing him to consent to a disgraceful agreement. Before the loss of Navarre the Emperor was willing to accept arbitration, but he cannot do so now, unless the King of France restore that kingdom, and make compensation for the damage done in Castille. The King of England is bound by the treaty to succour the Emperor, and we trust he will abide thereby, and declare for us; though should he not do so the Emperor is able to stand alone.”
As the Chancellor spoke rather coldly, infers the Imperialists will receive no assistance from England; and such also was the belief of some of the courtiers.
Brussels, 5th July 1521.
[Italian, 7 pages.]
July 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 1. 251. Antonio Grimani to Henry VIII.
Announces the demise of Doge Leonardo Loredano. His own constant exertions, made for the benefit of the public service, have caused the State to consider him fit to rule. Although unequal to so high a post, yields to the opinion of the Senate, relying on divine providence, and causes this notification to be made to his Majesty as a mark of his (the Doge's) singular love and respect. (fn. 13)
Signed: Anto. Grimanus Dei gratia Dux Venetiarum.
Datæ in nostro Ducali Palatio die 6 Julij 1521.
July 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. 86. 252. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Reply from France arrived, charging the French ambassador to tell Cardinal Wolsey, and subsequently King Henry, that King Francis will not agree to the compromise, as it is contrary to his honour, nor is it upon record that any King of France ever made a compromise; that the Emperor took one of his castles which was held by Robert de la Mark and was therefore the first aggressor; that King Francis will send a herald to King Henry urging him, according to the articles of agreement, to act against the first invader, and, as the Emperor invaded the French dominions first, King Henry is either to oppose him or not interfere.
The French ambassador says Cardinal Wolsey hesitated on hearing this reply, and then said, “Exactly so: in the first place it must be ascertained who was the first invader, and the compromise made accordingly”
The French ambassador is of opinion Cardinal Wolsey will go to Calais, and perhaps to King Francis, but the latter will never assent to the compromise. The Cardinal would wish a truce to be made. King Francis has three armies in the field, one in Navarre, the second in Luxemburg, with Robert de la Mark, and the third in Picardy; so that he (Wolsey ?) has written to the King to know whether he will make this compromise. (fn. 14)
News received in London of the arrival at the Emperor's Court of the King of Denmark, with five attendants, for the purpose of commanding the Imperial army; a bad return to the King of France, who for two years assisted him with money, &c. against his enemies.
Should Cardinal Wolsey cross the Channel with the ambassadors, he (Surian) will accompany him, and that will be the third time of his making the passage.
London, 6th July. Registered by Sanuto, 29th July.
July 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 39. 253. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
Spoke yesterday to King Francis, who told him he had written to the King of England about this stir made against him (King Francis) by the Pope, for whose support the Emperor was sending 300 spears into Italy, according to the treaty, in virtue of which the Pope gives him the investiture of the kingdom of Naples. The Emperor promised the Pope two galleys and the 300 spears, and 7,000 ducats per annum as tribute for the kingdom of Naples. The Emperor had moreover promised him Ferrara, Lucca, Parma, and Piacenza. King Francis said the Pope had done this because he had not obtained Ferrara, and added, “We promised the Pope to restore Modena and Reggio to him according, to the articles of agreement, and this was not enough for him.”
The English ambassador [Fitzwilliam] had not departed, but sent a gentleman with the reply of King Francis.
Argilly, 6th July. Registered by Sanuto, 15th July.
July 9. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 36, St. Mark's Library. 254. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
The Emperor having summoned him on that morning to the palace, he there met the Papal Nuncio, and the English ambassador, Spinelli. In the presence of the Emperor, the Chancellor, and the Bishop of Palencia, the Nuncio, in the name of Leo X., announced an attack made by the French on Reggio, on the 23rd of June, and requested aid from the Emperor, and that he would communicate the circumstance to the other Christian powers, that they also might render assistance, and especially to the King of England, the Emperor's good friend and kinsman, who had ever been most closely linked with the Church. The Nuncio gave similar notice to the Venetians, and requested them, by virtue of their truce and peace with the Emperor, not to interfere or favour France, as the Pope meant to defend himself, and that they would allow the posts to pass through their territory.
The Emperor told him in reply that he understood the Pope's message, and would not fail to render such assistance to the Church as became a good Christian; and then turning towards the English ambassador, he said:—
Domine orator, you have heard distinctly what the Nuncio said. Write the whole to your King, and intreat that, as our good friend and confederate, it may please him to declare himself in favour of the Church, as we hope he will.”
To him (Contarini) the Emperor added, “And do you, domine orator, tell the Signory, in consideration of the good friendship and truce existing between us, to allow the posts to and fro between this and Rome, and which will be frequently on the road, to have passage, and not to give assistance to the French.”
Answered discreetly, expressing his belief that the Signory, as a lover of peace, and entertaining vast respect for the Pope and the Emperor, would do nothing of which either of them could have just cause to complain.
The English ambassador made a very violent reply, saying that his King would regret to hear this, and that in a few days the Emperor would see him make a demonstration; adding, “These Frenchmen want to rule the universe.”
Spinelli's words were of little weight, because, independently of his professing to be a thorough Imperialist (for the sake of finding favour with the Emperor), he is intrusted with but little business of importance, the King of England transacting such through other channels, as seen by the mission confided to another ambassador [Sir Richard Wyngfeld], who departed and is to return; and moreover a few days ago the Emperor sent an envoy of his own to England, namely, the audiencier Dom. Zuan Analt (sic) (fn. 15) whose advices are awaited, no news having been received thence.
Brussels, 9th July 1521.
[Italian, 5½ pages.]
July 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 156. 255. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
On the 22nd June received despatches from the State with the news Letters about Hungary and Constantinople. Was not able to communicate them to Cardinal Wolsey until this morning [11th July]. After reading the summaries to the Cardinal, thanked him for the good offices which he promised to employ on behalf of the Signory at Calais, according to the will of his King. The Cardinal made answer, first of all, that he was utterly devoted to the State, and would act in her favour. He then said, with regard to the summaries, “These news Letters from Hungary are fabulous; this is what the Signory does invariably whenever any congress of sovereigns is about to take place;” the Spanish ambassador in London having said that the intelligence was not credible. Rejoined that the Signory wrote the truth, and was anxious for the peace of Christendom, adding other expressions which the Cardinal resented. Perceived that the intelligence displeased him, and that he would not listen to it, nor would he wish the King to know it, being intent on going to Calais. Offered to accompany him, but the Cardinal would not accept the proposal until he had spoken to the King on his return from his diversions. Said that he (Surian) himself would go to the King. The Cardinal desired him not to interrupt the royal amusements.
Having heard by private letters of the Doge's death, (fn. 16) announced it to the Cardinal, who praised the Doge much, calling him “a saint.”
London, 11th July. Registered by Sanuto, 9th August.
July 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 157. 256. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
The French ambassador sent his secretary to announce that he had complained to Cardinal Wolsey that the Emperor had invaded the duchy of Milan by means of the exiles; and that had it not been for the Venetian troops and the friends of King Francis the duchy would have been lost. That the Emperor was sending the Duke of Bari across the Alps for its invasion. That the truce had been first violated by the Emperor, and not by the King of France. Cardinal Wolsey was apparently surprised and well nigh offended at the aid given by the State to Milan, because had this not been the case, King Francis would have more readily consented to the agreement, but he (Wolsey) still wished the truce to be made for two months. The French ambassador replied that his King would not consent to a truce, which would enable the Emperor to prepare for war; for thus did France lose the kingdom of Navarre. The Cardinal, however, is preparing to cross over to Calais.
According to report, the King of Denmark has promised his brother-in-law, the Emperor, ten ships and his personal services, saying that he is unable to give him more.
London, 11th July. Registered by Sanuto, 9th August.
July 13. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 38, St Mark's Library. 257. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
On the 10th, when on the point of following the Emperor to Antwerp, was seized with ague, and therefore sent his secretary instead to obtain the news of the Court.
On that evening (the 13th) the secretary came back, and reported that Sir Richard Wyngfeld, who went post from Brussels to England, had returned. It seems that, on behalf of his King, he has had audience of the Emperor, and besought him to make truce with France, and to refer the affair of Navarre to arbitration. To this the Emperor apparently made answer that in all matters he would gratify his Majesty, save in this, it being his intention to settle his disputes with the King of France by force of arms.
The Imperialists have small hopes of the King of England, who they expect will remain neutral, and not favour either party.
Brussels, 13th July 1521.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
July 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 45. 258. Embassy to England.
Proclamation in the Senate of the scrutiny made for an ambassador to England in the stead of Nicolo Tiepolo, LL.D., who had declined.
Eighteen candidates having been proposed, the choice fell on Marco Antonio Venier, LL.D., who has not canvassed much, like the others.
Ayes. Noes.
Lodovico Falier 113 95
Marco Contarini 99 108
Marco Antonio Venier, LL.D., proveditor for the offices 126 79
Leonardo Venier, late “auditor vecchio 57 146
Marco Gradenigo, LL.D., late of the Senate 65 145
Lorenzo di Priuli 78 126
Giovanni Basadonna, LL.D., late of the Senate 80 129
Carlo Capello, late “auditor novo 73 133
Francesco Morosini, LL.D., 65 138
Andrea di Priuli, LL.D. 63 139
Silvestro Memo, late of the “Raxon vechie 73 140
Mafio Lion, late “avogador di comun 104 109
Agustin da Cha da Pesaro, late “auditor novo 75 132
Hirolamo Polani, LL. D, late of the Senate 86 129
Nicolò da Ponte, LL.D., late of the Senate 80 134
Marco Antonio Grimani 65 147
Anzolo Gabriel 80 131
Bertuzi Soranzo, late “auditor vechio 77 134
July 15. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 3. 259. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador in Hungary.
Received his letter, together with those from the King of Hungary addressed to the Pope and other Kings and Princes, concerning the important preparations of the Turk against him.
Have written to the Pope, to the Emperor, to the Kings of France and England, and to the Cardinal de' Medici at Florence, and will do their utmost with the sovereigns above mentioned.
Ayes, 188. Noes, 8. Neutral, 1.
July 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 68. 260. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
Has communicated the advices received from the Signory to King Francis, who told him that the King of England will act as mediator; wherefore King Francis will send three personages to Calais, the Lord Chancellor [Duprat], Mons. de la Palisse, and the President De Selva, with the secretary. The Emperor will send the Chancellor [Gattinara], Mons. De Berghes, and one of his auditors [Haneton ?] with the secretary. Cardinal Wolsey proceeds thither in the name of the King of England. In the meanwhile there will be a suspension of hostilities for three weeks. Has spoken with the Chancellor [Duprat], who confirmed the statement made by the King; and said the parties would merely investigate whether the articles stipulated at Noyon had been observed. This account was corroborated by Madame.
King Francis has also written to the King of England, complaining of what the Pope has done, and awaits his reply.
Dijon, 15th July. Registered by Sanuto, 24th July.
July 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 73. 261. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
With regard to England, King Francis told me today that the three delegates will depart tomorrow for Calais, to conclude a truce for a month and a half; and they will be at Calais in three days.
Dijon, 16th July. Registered by Sanuto, 24th July.
July 16. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 41, St. Mark's Library. 262. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
The French envoy accredited to the King of Denmark is negotiating zealously for peace on behalf of the King of France. The King of England, Monsr. de Montagni [Count of Hoochstrate], and the Lady Margaret also exert themselves warmly to this effect; the latter, at the instigation apparently of the King of France, proposing to arrange the affairs of the two Crowns by partitioning the Venetian territory.
Informed by a friend, who associated with the Nuncio, that he has seen the minute of a letter written to-day by the Nuncio to Rome, purporting that the Emperor informed the Pope that he must proceed to Italy, and that the King of England had not sufficient power to obtain either peace or truce; nor did he believe that the King of England could resuscitate the dead, implying that he considered the King of France disposed of; and that were the King of England compelled to declare himself, he would be in favour of him (the Emperor), and not of the King of France.
Antwerp, 16th July 1521.
[Italian, 1½ page.]
July 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 157. 263. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Yesterday Mons. de Montpésat, the French ambassador, returned from France, having come post haste to explain to King Henry and Cardinal Wolsey that the defeat which the Spaniards say they gave the French troops, killing 14,000 of them, was untrue, and that on the contrary, not a few Spaniards had been killed. He will confer with Cardinal Wolsey tomorrow, and, according to report, he brings the power authorizing King Henry to act as mediator; but of this the French ambassador [De la Bâtie] says he has no intelligence.
The envoys from the Pope and the Emperor [Ghinucci and De Mesa] have been together to the King, to acquaint him with the league and understanding formed between their masters. Everybody in London is astonished that after so close an alliance with France, the Pope should change sides so suddenly. The ambassadors aforesaid say the Signory likewise is with them; so they vapour vastly against the most Christian King.
Understands that the Pope has sent bulls to Cardinal Wolsey, authorizing him to confer the benefices of England and to receive the annats, except those of the bishoprics,—a thing never before conceded to any other magnate (principe). It is said the Pope has done this because he wants to obtain Ferrara.
London, 18th July. Registered by Sanuto, 9th August
July 19. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 51. 264. Embassy to England.
Marco Antonio Venier, LL.D., ambassador elect to England, to sit in the Senate until his departure.
July 20. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 44, St. Mark's Library. 265. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
Last evening the Emperor received letters from England. He sent immediately for the Chancellor, who, although ill of gout, attended. Believes these letters relate to the agreement between the Emperor and France, and announce Cardinal Wolsey's intended passage across the Channel.
Forms this conjecture because the Chancellor is going immediately to Calais, with Mons. de Berghes, and the Cardinal is to be there, as also an ambassador from the King of France.
Ghent, 20th July 1521.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
July 20. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 45, St. Mark's Library. 266. The Same to the Same.
“Was informed on good authority of the arrival of a Franciscan friar accredited by the mother of the King of France to the Lady Margaret, requesting her mediation for peace between him and the Emperor on the following conditions: The King of France to renounce the kingdom of Navarre, and to make no farther claim to it; to acknowledge the Milanese as a fief from the Emperor, receiving its investiture; and finally to relinquish the tribute paid by the Emperor for the kingdom of Naples, provided he be permitted to take his revenge on the Pope for the treatment received from him.
The friar was answered immediately that the Emperor is perfectly willing to discuss the agreement and proposals concerning the. kingdom of Navarre, the fief of the Milanese, and the Neapolitan tribute, but that with regard to allowing the King of France to take his revenge on the Pope, he knew not how to do so with honour, the Pope having made a demonstration in his favour.
On account of this proposal, a post has been despatched to England.
Adds that his informant asserts positively that the King of France requires the investiture of the Milanese to include Crema, Bergamo, and Brescia. This appears improbable for several reasons, but leaves the State to form its opinion thereon.
Ghent, 20th July 1521.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
July 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 86. 267. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
This morning the Chancellor and his colleagues departed on their way to Calais.
Dijon, 20th July. Registered by Sanuto, 29th July.
July 22. Sanuto Diaries, p. xxxi. p. 157. 268. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Montpésat has been with King Henry and Cardinal Wolsey, and is returning post to France. He complained greatly of what the Pope had done, and is doing, against King Francis in the Milanese, and justified what the King had done at Reggio. He said that the Lord Chancellor [Duprat] and another personage were going to Calais, but that Cardinal Wolsey, not being well satisfied with the Chancellor, would prefer the Admiral [Bonnivet].
The departure [for Calais] is to take place on the 25th. The Cardinal is to be accompanied by four personages of account, (one of whom will be the Duke of Norfolk,) and some others, who in all will number 500 horse. The French ambassador is to go, but none of the other [ambassadors]; nor down to this present has anything been said to anyone. Is of opinion that the Cardinal will not choose him (Surian) to cross, because on asking his Lordship whether he had spoken to the King on the subject, he said “No,” as he had been very much occupied. Has, however, made all his preparations for crossing with the Cardinal. Tomorrow purposes going to the Court to speak to the King on the subject.
Urges the appointment of his successor.
London, 22nd July. Registered by Sanuto, 9th August.
July 23. Contarini's Letter Book, Letter no. 46, St. Mark's Library. 269. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The Emperor is going to Bruges, and Cardinal Wolsey will proceed thither after his conference at Calais with the Imperial and French delegates.
Ghent, 23rd July 1521.
[Italian, 3 pages.]
July 24. Senato Terra, v. xxii. p. 42. 270. Embassy to England.
Put to the ballot that Marco Antonio Venier, ambassador elect to England, may sit in the Senate until his departure.
Ayes, 158. Noes, 4. Neutral, 1.
[Italian, 9 lines.]
July 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 125. 271. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
Was told by King Francis that the Emperor's army was receiving reinforcements, of which he had complained to the King of England, as this was being be done whilst the negotiation for truce was on foot, saying that he was not afraid of the Emperor, and that he should have 10,000 Switzers under the command of Mons. do Longueville, who, although young, is of the blood royal, and Mons. de la Motte will be his lieutenant.
Dijon, 24th July. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd August.
July 25. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 181. 272. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
King Henry had said to him, “The Signory has sent troops to aid the most Christian King against the exiles, and has violated the truce with the Emperor, for it is said the King of France attacked him first; so I must act against the first aggressor.” Replied that the Signory had not violated the truce, even supposing them to have given assistance against the exiles in the Milanese, as they were bound by the truce. The King was satisfied with this explanation. He then said he should send the Cardinal to Calais to reconcile these two sovereigns; not to pass sentence as a judge, but as a friendly mediator. He thought it would be difficult to pacify them, but he would endeavour to make a temporary truce between them. He perceived an obstacle to the peace, because the Emperor would not marry the daughter of King Francis according to promise. King Henry then greatly extolled the power of the Emperor, who, by the death of Mons. de Chièvres, had obtained 600,000 ducats; and said the King of Denmark had gone to him. That King is apparently the enemy of the King of England; and the French ambassador had told him (Surian) that it is his intention to tell King Henry evil of the King of Denmark, who would wish the Emperor to attack him.
Prayed the King to charge the Cardinal at this conference to have at heart the interests of the Signory. The King said he would do so, by reason of the love which he himself, like his father bore the State; and asked whether the galleys were coming. Replied that, owing to these disturbances, he did not know. The King rejoined, “They must come; should the Signory choose, I will obtain an ample safeconduct from the Emperor,” Then, when speaking about the Cardinal's journey to Calais, the King asked whether he (Surian) was going, and persuaded him by all means so do to. Replied that he was ready to obey his Majesty accordingly.
Letters had arrived in London from Ragusa, with advices that the Turk [Sultan Solyman] had quitted Safra (sic), so that in England they now believe the Signory's despatches. The Papal bull and brief did not concern the annats, but the rest was correct. Cardinal Wolsey is to depart on the 29th. The Duke of Norfolk does not go, but the Cardinal will be accompanied by the Lord Chamberlain, the Bishops of Durham and Ely, the Grand Prior Commendatary [of St. John's] of England [Sir Thomas Docwra], and the Master of the Rolls [Cuthbert Tunstall]. The Papal Nuncio and the French and Imperial ambassadors are also going, so that no ambassador remains in England. The French ambassador also told him that on every account it was well he should go.
A diet is being held in Flanders about certain disputes concerning the merchants. This morning the government sends thither Sir Thomas More, Dr. Sampson, and Dr. Chiut (sic).
Dated . . . 25th July. Registered by Sanuto, 12th August.
July 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 182. 273. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Conversations with Cardinal Wolsey, who spoke to him in a high tone, to the same effect as the King had done, saying that the Signory had sent troops in aid of the King of France. Justified the Republic's pretensions. The Cardinal said the State ought not to have stirred, and then the King of France would have been more ready to make the agreement, &c. The Cardinal said he should cross the sea to Calais on the 29th, and would stipulate a truce, and desired him (Surian) to accompany him.
It would have been well to have sent his successor. The Pope is sending a new ambassador to Calais.
London, 27th July. Registered by Sanuto, 12th August.
July 29. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 49, St. Mark's Library. 274. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
In consequence of the frequent mission of posts to and fro, between Ghent and England, and of the contradictory reports about peace,—it being also said that besides his other business Cardinal Wolsey would negotiate a marriage between the Lady Mary [of England] and the Emperor,—determined to visit the Nuncio [Caracciolo], as he receives constant advices from his colleague in England [Girolamo Ghinucci], who takes part in all the present consultations and is acquainted with everything.
Went to Caracciolo yesterday, and found with him the old English ambassador, the Florentine Spinelli, whose colleague Sir Richard Wyngfeld had departed on his way to meet Cardinal Wolsey at Calais.
The Nuncio said that the Cardinal had written to the Emperor requesting him to delay his departure from Ghent until he (Wolsey) should arrive at Calais, where he intended to be on Thursday or Friday next.
In reply to the good wishes expressed by him (Contarini) for the result of the conference both the envoys spoke unsatisfactorily. Omits the speech of Spinelli because, being a Florentine, and declaring himself a staunch Imperialist, he frequently in his language exceeds the bounds of propriety, though he would not, on this occasion, have expressed himself so strongly as he did against the King of France, or have maintained the justice of the Emperor's cause, unless he had some indication that his King inclined, or was on the point of inclining, towards the Emperor. Spinelli also said that before the war the Emperor consented to refer his disputes with France to the arbitration of England, but that the King of France refused, and did not communicate to the King of England his expedition against Navarre until on the eve of commencing it; showing thus that he did not trust him. Moreover, the King of France had violated the treaty stipulated between the three sovereigns, to the effect that all were to hold and enjoy their actual possessions, and that should any one of them commence hostilities the other two were to unite against him. Spinelli came to the conclusion his King would abide by the letter of the articles and adhere to the Emperor.
The Nuncio spoke with more reserve, and on the departure of Spinelli said, among other things, that although the King of England was urgent for peace, yet should the negotiations fail it was hoped he would adhere to the Pope, which would be tantamount to his joining the Emperor. He also remarked that, as talked of heretofore, there was another negotiation on foot for the marriage of the daughter of the King of England to the Emperor, and that, if it were effected, the King of France would then stand alone; nor did Caracciolo see how he could prevail.
Ghent, 29th July 1521.
[Italian, 7 pages.]
July 30. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 50, St. Mark's Library. 275. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Details a long conversation held by him with the Emperor's confessor, a Franciscan friar, in his monastery, who, at the suggestion of Contarini, spoke to the Emperor about the dread of Turkish invasion. (fn. 17) The result was announced by the confessor, as follows: “Domine orator, on Sunday I was a long while with the Emperor, in the presence of the Lady Margaret, and narrated to him what you told me, about the peril in which Hungary and all Christendom were placed by so serious a Turkish irruption, and that his Majesty ought to apply an opportune remedy. I then adroitly commenced speaking to him about peace and the advantages derivable thence.
“To the first point, the Emperor made answer that he had written to Austria and his other territories adjoining Hungary, ordering succour, both of cannon and infantry, and that he had done all he could for the moment, as it would be folly to lose his own for the sake of assisting his neighbour. My comment about peace, he answered thus: 'Who knows better than yourself, father, what I did, and how much I humbled myself to the King of France, in order to obtain peace? I now see that there is no other way to obtain a good peace than by force of arms.'”
To this the confessor said he rejoined, “Forgive me, sire! I will repeat to you what I told the Venetian ambassador,—and what I have moreover often said to your Majesty yourself,—namely, that you are endowed with every virtue, and have merely this defect, that with difficulty do you forget injuries; whereupon the ambassador remarked, that the forgiveness of injuries betokened magnanimity.”
The Emperor answered me, smiling. “Don't suppose, father, that my heart is so hard that I reject peace; on the contrary, could I obtain a good, firm, and lasting peace, I would accept it; but the way to secure a good peace is to prepare oneself vigorously for war.”
Commenced speaking about the King of England, and the confessor told him he understood the King was exerting himself to make peace between the two crowns, but concerning the treaty and marriage talked of at the Court, he said he knew nothing, and that if true it would be very important, as the King of England laid claim to Normandy. From his mode of answering perceived that the confessor really knew nothing about the matter, and coupling this with what the Nuncio said to him yesterday, does not believe that any treaty (the report of which he mentioned in his letter of the 27th) has been concluded between the Emperor and the King of England, although there has been some talk of it.
Ghent, 30th July 1521.
[Italian, 3 pages.]


  • 1. “One-half, to the amount of one hundred and twenty, went out on the eve of Saint John and the other half on the eve of St. Peter.” (See Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, p. 361.)
  • 2. The cresset was a large lanthorn fixed at the end of a long pole, and carried upon a man's shoulder.
  • 3. Among the items for the Chester pageant on St. John's eve were “sixteen naked boys.” (See Strutt's Introduction, p. xliii.)
  • 4. Tree of Jesse ? The words in the original are—”dove era l'albore de la vita cum tutti li propheta, qual usciva del ventre de uno che giacea,” etc. A very spirited and highly finished illumination by Giulio Clovio, representing the subject of the Tree of Jesse, is in the possession of A. II. Layard, Esq., M. P.
  • 5.
  • 6. In the original “Et el spiculator che tagliò el capo a San Joanne qual ne le carcere se vedea sopra ditto pulpito.”
  • 7. Sir William FitzWylliam. (See State Papers, vol. VI., part v. pp. 73, 74.)
  • 8. Fitzwilliam and Jernegan wrote a joint letter to Henry VIII. from Argilly on the 2nd of July, and were at Dijon on the 10th July; so Badoer was misinformed about their movements, as he himself states in the following despatch.
  • 9. Although this letter is not immediately connected with England, its contents are worth comparing with the account of Wolsey's entry into Bruges as described by Gasparo Contarini, date 16 August.
  • 10. “Veniva sopra uno charo positive”
  • 11. Audiencier Haneton. See State Papers, vol. I., p. 22.
  • 12. “Monstra in la faccia gravità et vivacity.”
  • 13. In the original the missive runs thus:—. . . . . . . “Majestati vestræ ex officio singularis amoris et observantiæ nostræ erga illam declaranda curavimus.” In date 26th September 1521 it will be seen that Secretary Pace objected to the omission of the word “vale” which, however, was not used in the letters whereby Doge Grimani announced his accession to Leo X., Charles V., Francis L, and other potentates.
  • 14. “Si che a scritto al Re s'il vol far ditto compromesso.”
  • 15. Qu., Philip Haneton, Audiencier to Charles V. (See Mr. Brewer's Calendar, Vol. III. Nos. 1393–1395.) John Hannart was the Emperor's secretary.
  • 16. Doge Leonardo Loredano died on the 22nd of June 1531, at the age of 84, as stated in Sanuto's Diaries'.
  • 17. This Franciscan friar died at Valladolid on the 14th September 1522. He probably-understood the character of Charles V. in his youth better than anybody. His name is not given by Gasparo Contarini, who, when recording his demise, wrote that “he left behind him the character of an excellent ecclesiastic.” In his “Report,” Contarini merely styles him “il frate di San Francesco.”