Venice: August 1521, 1-15

Pages 152-159

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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August 1521, 1–15

Aug. 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 179. 276. Giovanni Badoer to the Signort.
Was told by King Francis that the English ambassador [Sir William Fitzwilliam] urges him to make the truce, but he refuses, as it would be the ruin of the Italian expedition, because the Emperor will aid the Pope against France.
Nieli [Nolay?], 2nd August. Registered by Sanuto, 12th August.
Aug. 3. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 51, St. Mary's Library. 277. Gasparo Contarini to the Signort.
At 12 o'clock last night the Emperor received news of the arrival of Cardinal Wolsey at Calais yesterday.
The Emperor will depart hence for Bruges on Monday, and has sent the Count of Cariati and many other gentlemen to meet the Cardinal.
The ministry at Ghent consider the treaty between the Emperor and the King of England concluded.
Ghent, 3rd August 1521.
[Italian, 3 pages.]
Aug. 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 219. 278. Antonio Surian to the Signort.
On 29th July quitted London with the French ambassador [De la Bâtie]. Cardinal Wolsey was half a day's journey in advance, on account of lodgings. They remained two days at Canterbury, as it was not weather to put to sea, and having arrived at Dover on the 2nd, all embarked and made a very rough passage. They landed at Calais at 2 p.m. The Imperial ambassadors, namely the Lord Chancellor, Monsieur de Berghes, and an abbot, with 100 horse, have already made their entry. The Frenchmen are to arrive after dinner. Cardinal Wolsey wishes to make peace between these two crowns, and if unable to do so, will see if he can stipulate a truce, though it is said that the Emperor, who would have consented to it before his recovery of Navarre, will not do so now. There are also difficulties about the marriage of the Emperor to the daughter of King Francis. It is supposed that, having taken Navarre, the Emperor will be content to surrender it to France. The pension for the kingdom of Naples, as it is a mere affair of money, will be quietly settled; with regard to the Neapolitan exiles, they will be allowed time, or their estates will be restored to them. Respecting the dependency of Flanders on the French crown, that will be counterbalanced by the investiture of Milan. There are, however, doubts of some secret understanding between the Pope and the Emperor, whereby the arrangement may be impeded.
Nothing is said of the Signory, except that they are reported to be French. Regrets not knowing how to act, as no letters from the State have reached him since the 22nd June. According to report, the truce will be stipulated. The Emperor, who would at first have agreed to one for eight months, seems now to reject the proposal, whereas King Francis is apparently willing to agree to it. The armies of the two sovereigns number some 50,000 men. The forces of the Emperor are very considerable. It is said he will go to Bruges, and should he not choose to assent to the truce, Cardinal Wolsey will perhaps go to see him, and receive presents and great honour. The Cardinal has already said that he means to go, as he is, it may be said, King. It is stated that King Francis will be content with the truce. At any rate, happen what may, the King of England does not desire war, remembering what the last one against France cost him, when he much diminished the treasure left by his father; nor is the country now in a very secure state, by reason of the Duke of Buckingham's plot. (fn. 1)
Calais, 3rd August. Registered by Sanuto, 20th August
Aug. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 239. 279. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Today Cardinal Wolsey gave a dinner to the Imperial ambassadors, and also to him. Had visited the Emperor's Chancellor [Gattinara], having known him last year when King Henry was at Canterbury. Received good greeting from him. At table Cardinal Wolsey spoke against the King of France to the Imperial ambassadors, leaning rather towards the Emperor.
News had been received of the capture by a French ship of an Imperial vessel within the jurisdiction of England. (fn. 2) The Cardinal immediately sent off four English ships from Calais to give chase and seize it. Moreover, a Frenchman has been captured, who with a line and plummet purposed measuring the walls of the town [of Calais], much to the displeasure of the Cardinal.
Whilst with the Cardinal to-day, the French ambassadors, namely, the Chancellor [Duprat], Mons. la Palisse, and another, (fn. 3) made their entry into Calais. The Cardinal sent the Lord Chamberlain and two others to meet them; and they were treated with much respect. Went to visit them. The Chancellor gave assurance of the goodwill which King Francis bore to the Signory, and promised to acquaint him (Surian) with the whole course of the negotiation.
Calais, 4th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
Aug. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. pp. 239–240. 280. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Today, having been summoned on behalf of Cardinal Wolsey, found his Lordship with the Papal Nuncio [Ghinucci] and the Imperial and the French ambassadors.
The Cardinal said he had been sent here by his King, who having heard of the disputes between his nephew the Emperor and his brother the King of France, desired him, Wolsey, as his lieutenant, to make peace between them.
The Papal Nuncio commended this proceeding, saying however, that he had no commission from the Pope, but would write to him, and was certain he would be very well satisfied.
On behalf of the Imperialists the Chancellor [Gattinara] spoke of the injuries inflicted on the Emperor's subjects by the King of France, and said he had caused Robert de la Marck to rebel against the Emperor, and taken from him the kingdom of Navarre,—though by the grace of God it had been recovered,—besides wronging him in other ways; wherefore the Emperor would neither make peace nor truce, but required the King of England to act against France as the violator of the articles of the peace, of which the Emperor would furnish proof.
The French ambassadors then replied, the sage Chancellor [Duprat] saying, in well chosen terms, that if Gattinara's sovereign wished for war, it should be waged upon him briskly; and that if he chose peace, King Francis desired it heartily. Duprat declared that with regard to his King having instigated the Emperor's subjects to rebel, no letter from the King of France to that effect could be produced. The Imperialists said they had the letters; and when Duprat asked to see them, they said they would show them to Cardinal Wolsey alone; which words the Cardinal did not relish.
Duprat then proceeded, and, speaking of Robert [de la Marck], he said it was not true that King Francis had incited him; and touching the kingdom of Navarre, he said the articles of the peace warranted its invasion. He then charged the Emperor with having stirred up the Milanese exiles against the King's duchy of Milan, and with having urged the Pope to absolve him from the oath and promise made to the King of France about the marriage. Moreover, the Emperor had not paid the three years' tribute for the kingdom of Naples, nor acknowledged the suzerainty for the counties of Flanders and Artois. He had also taken a castle of the King's on the borders, pretending it belonged to Robert de la Marck. The French Chancellor concluded by saying that the Emperor should have either peace or war at his option.
Cardinal Wolsey then said he wished a truce to be made between them as a preliminary to the negotiation of peace, and adjourned the conference.
He (Surian) said nothing, because there was no time; nor would he have known how to reply, having received no orders from the Signory. Cardinal Wolsey is assuredly going to the Emperor.
Calais, 5th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
Aug. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 180. 281. Giovanni Badoer, to the Signory.
Having received four letters from the State, went first to Madame [Louise,] Found her talking with the English ambassador, who was urging her to induce the King assent to the truce, as the Emperor had done. She did not answer, as on former occasions, but said, “Let the truce be proposed at Calais, and an answer will be given.”
Artoin [Autun?], (fn. 4) 5th August. Registered by Sanuto, 12th August.
Aug. 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. pp. 239–240. 282. Antonio Surian to the Signort.
Told by Cardinal Wolsey that the Signory had engaged Francesco Maria, the ex-Duke of Urbino, and the Pope would take it amiss and oppose the State. The Cardinal said this was not the moment to stir, and the Republic should desist from war.
Rejoined that the Pope was the cause of these wars, and prevented the Emperor from making peace. The French ambassadors are inclined to peace, and the Imperialists are not.
The Emperor's Chancellor [Gattinara] said that the Turks were under Belgrade.
Calais, 6th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
Aug. 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 244. 283. The Same to the Same.
Cardinal Wolsey repeated what he had said relative to Francesco Maria, ex-Duke of Urbino. Replied he knew nothing, and that Francesco Maria della Rovere was a Venetian nobleman, and at liberty to reside in the Venetian territory, as the Signory gave refuge to all exile-grandees, as they did to Pope Leo and his brothers when their family was expelled from Florence; but believed it to be untrue that the Signory encouraged the Duke to make war on the Pope, and recover his duchy. The Cardinal remained satisfied, and then said that, as the Imperial ambassadors declared they had no mandate, he meant to go to Bruges, and, by speaking with the Emperor, to obtain power to make a truce, although the French do not choose to have one. As for the reported betrothal of the daughter of his King [to the Emperor?], he said it was untrue; and that the Emperor was in the right about this marriage [with France], as the French Princess was an infant, and the Emperor chafed at having to wait for her, as he should be upwards of 30 years of age. (fn. 5)
The Cardinal is to depart on the 10th instant. The French ambassadors will remain at Calais until his return, which will not be delayed beyond ten days. Is in doubt whether to go with him or remain.
Calais, 8th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
Aug. 7. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 53, St. Mark's Library. 284. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The Emperor quitted Ghent for Bruges on the 5th, but not by the direct road, stopping at several intermediate places to hawk and hunt. This evening he is to enter Bruges. Cardinal Wolsey will not come until Saturday. Does not know what business he transacted at the conference. Is told that Surian has crossed the Channel with the Cardinal.
Reported at Bruges that on the coast of England a French vessel had captured a Biscayan ship, which fact greatly displeased Cardinal Wolsey, who has sent four armed barks to seize the Frenchman.
Bruges, 7th August 1521.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
Aug. 8. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 54, St. Mark's Library. 285. The Same to the Same.
Was told by the Nuncio that this morning the Emperor received letters from Calais, informing him that Cardinal Wolsey held a conference on the 6th with the Imperial and French ambassadors, there being likewise present the ambassadors from the Pope and the Signory. The Cardinal spoke much about peace between the two sovereigns. The Imperialists declared they had no commission concerning peace, alleging the injuries received by the Emperor from the King of France. The French ambassadors, on the other hand; defended the cause of their King, and stated that if the Emperor chose peace ho would accept it willingly, but should the Emperor prefer war, the King of France would not fail to wage it vigorously. So nothing being settled, Cardinal Wolsey adjourned the meeting.
At Bruges the opinion is that the adjustment will not be effected, though it remains to witness the result of the visit of Cardinal Wolsey, for whose reception with honour preparations are already being made.
Bruges, 8th August 1521.
[Italian, 1¾ page.]
Aug. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 146. 286. News from England.
Memorandum by Sanuto.
This morning the letters received on the preceding evening from the ambassador in England, having been deciphered, were read in the Senate. Will give their summary hereafter. Cardinal Wolsey was to cross the Channel, and Surian was making preparations to accompany him. From what Surian has heard, Cardinal Wolsey did not wish him to go. (fn. 6)
Aug. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 199. 287. Giovanni Badoer to the Doge and Signory.
King Francis informed him that Cardinal Wolsey had arrived at Calais, and that, on his conferring with the ambassadors, the Imperialists complained of his Majesty; whereupon the Cardinal told them that if they had no other commission it was a loss of time to meet at Calais. The King is of opinion that, should the agreement not be effected, the Cardinal will come to him.
Autun, 8th August. Registered by Sanuto, 16th August.
[Italian, extract.]
Aug. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 244. 288. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Had conversed about Cardinal Wolsey's visit to Bruges with the French Chancellor [Duprat], who said that his own stay at Calais would be but little to the honour of his King, and that he would acquaint him (Surian) with everything, by reason of the friendship which King Francis bore the Signory.
Whilst writing received the Signory's letters, with the summaries of Hungarian news, and the letter from the King of Hungary to the King of England, which he delivered to Cardinal Wolsey, who expressed surprise at its being sent in such a way. Replied that he had been four years ambassador in Hungary, and therefore the King had chosen to make use of him. The Cardinal said he would forward the letter, and that he was intent on uniting the Christian powers, especially the Emperor and France, to accomplish which end he would even go so far as Rome.
Calais, 8th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
Aug. 9. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 55, St. Mark's Library. 289. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Announces the receipt of letters from Surian, dated the 7th, concerning the conference held by Cardinal Wolsey with the Imperial and French ambassadors. Surian states that Cardinal Wolsey, perceiving how determined the Imperial ambassadors were to accept neither peace nor truce, and that they merely requested the King of England to declare himself in favour of the Emperor, expressed his regret at such firm persistence in war. Is therefore convinced that the Imperialists are not so sure of the treaty with England as they fancy themselves, according to his former announcement; and were it not for the constant pressure applied by the Pope, who urges the Emperor to war, he (Contarini) would entertain fair hopes of an adjustment between the two crowns [Imperial and French].
Bruges, 9th August 1522.
[Italian, 1 page.]
Aug. 9. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 244. 290. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Desired by Cardinal Wolsey to remain at Calais with the French ambassadors until his return from Bruges, where he hoped to make a good arrangement. The Cardinal said be would there confer with the Signory's ambassador, and acquaint him with events. The French ambassadors intend going to Boulogne, and to remain there during this interval, of which the Cardinal is glad, being thus relieved from anxiety about leaving them in Calais with so considerable a number of horsemen as they had brought with them.
The Count of Cariati has arrived at Calais, and. . . . . . ambassador from the Emperor, to accompany Cardinal Wolsey to Bruges, and two other great personages (fn. 7) have been sent to meet him on the road; so believes it had been arranged beforehand for him to go to Bruges. Perhaps the Emperor has acted thus on account of the Pope, to whom he is both strictly bound not to make terms with France, and has also promised Parma and Piacenza.
Calais, 9th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
Aug. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 172. 291. The Governors of Verona to the Signory.
Have received advices from Antonazo of Perugia, Constable in the Castle of Trent, dated the 8th, giving an account of the infantry in readiness there, and stating that the agreement between the Emperor and the King of France would not be effected, although Cardinal Wolsey, the Lord Chancellor [Gattinara], and Mons. de Berghes were gone to Calais.
Verona, 10th August. Registered by Sanuto, 11th August
Aug. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 218. 292. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
King Francis has received letters from Calais, dated the 4th. Cardinal Wolsey and the Imperial ambassadors had arrive d there. The Cardinal wishes to adjust these disputes, and the Emperor's ambassadors have done nothing but complain of King Francis.
Spoke to Madame, who said she should go to a distance of 15 leagues from Autun, and that the conference at Calais might produce some good effect, but they do not trust Cardinal Wolsey, because in the Emperor's camp the only current coin is the English “Angel.”
Autom [Autun?], 10th August. Registered by Sanuto, 20th August.
Aug. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 253. 293. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
News received by him from the Chancellor (sic) of England [Cuthbert Tunstall, Vice-Chancellor and Master of the Rolls], who said that Cardinal Wolsey understood the Imperialists had taken a castle belonging to Robert de la Mark, called Baiom (sic) [Bouillon], had crossed the Meuse, and were laying siege to another castle, (fn. 8) which was contrary to the articles of the seven weeks' truce, made on account of the Cardinal's coming to Calais. Wolsey greatly resented its infringement, and had therefore renounced his journey to Bruges, and ordered the return of his baggage waggons, which had been already sent in advance; using strong language to the Emperor's ambassadors.
Understands, however, that Cardinal Wolsey spoke thus in order to render them better disposed towards the peace. It is said that, should the agreement not take place, the King of France will take the field in person and give battle. Hears that the Cardinal will nevertheless go to Bruges.
Calais, 10th August. Registered by Sanuto, 31st August
Aug. 13. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 56, St. Mark's Library. 294. Gasparo Contarini to the Signort.
Last night Cardinal Wolsey lodged at a place called Beauport (Beoporto), six leagues distant hence. Today he will journey three leagues, and is to enter this city tomorrow with a retinue, I am told, of 1,050 horsemen.
Had discussed this visit with the Nuncio [Caracciolo], who is apprehensive lest some adjustment ensue, contrary to the wish of the Pope, who would fain see the war advance. The Pope complains vastly of the Emperor, having at his request declared against France, (fn. 9) and the Emperor is nevertheless slow to move in Italy. He remonstrates against the long delay of the Viceroy in joining the rest of the troops under Prospero Colonna.
Bruges, 13th August 1521.
[Italian, 3 pages.]
Aug. 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 238. 295. Giovanni Badoer to the Doge and Signory.
King Francis being absent, had audience of Madame [Louise], who spoke about the advices from Calais, telling him there were letters from the French delegates, who had demanded indemnity for expenses, to be paid by those who had infringed the articles, and that Cardinal Wolsey was going to the Emperor at Brussels.
Autun, 14th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
[Extract, Italian.]
Aug. 14–15. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 238. 296. The Same to the Signory.
Was told by King Francis he had heard from his ambassadors at Calais, who demanded payment of expenses by those had violated the articles of agreement; and that Cardinal Wolsey was going to Brussels to the Emperor. This news was confirmed by Madame on the authority of letters dated Calais, the 12th.
Autun, 14th and 15th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.


  • 1. “Poi le cose per il trattato dil Ducha di Bochingen non è ben segure.”
  • 2. At the mouth of the Thames. (See letter from Pace to Wolsey, 27th August 1521 “Stale Papers,” vol. i., p. 36.)
  • 3. John de Selve, Premier President of the Parliament of Paris.
  • 4. A letter from Sir William Fitz William of 6th August is dated at “Awcton.” (See Mr. Brewer's Calendar.)
  • 5. “Dicendo di le noze si diceva tratava con la fiola dil suo Re, non è vero; e di tal noze l'Imperador a raxom, per esser quella di Franza puta; e l'Imperador stridò aspetaila, baria più di 30 anni.”
  • 6. See Surian's letter to the Signory, 11th July 1521.
  • 7. Qu., the Archbishop of Palermo, and the Seigneur Traseignes. (See Mr. Brewer's Calendar, vol. III., no. 1460.
  • 8. Mouzon? The capture of that place is mentioned in a letter of Wolsey's to Henry VIII., dated Calais, 30th August (see “State Papers,” vol. 1., p. 45).
  • 9. In a subsequent letter, No. 330, dated Madrid, 28 January 1525, it appears that the Emperor then declared that he entered on this war for the sake of Leo X., who was ruled by his prime minister and kinsman, Giulio de' Medici, afterwards Clement VII., to whom the Emperor sent a message to that effect.