Venice: August 1521, 16-31

Pages 160-173

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, 16–31

Aug. 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 245. 297. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
In conversation with [the French Secretary] Robertet, understood there were advices from the French ambassadors at Calais, stating that the Imperialists had no authority to negotiate peace, and that Cardinal Wolsey meant to go to the Emperor.
Autun, 16th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
Aug. 16. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 57, St. Mark's Library. 298. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Cardinal Wolsey entered this town on the 14th.
The Emperor with the whole court went to meet him outside the gates, and waited for him well nigh an hour and a half. On his arrival, at nearly 7 p.m., he did not dismount from his mule, but after raising his bonnet, he from saddle to saddle (a cavalo a cavalo) embraced the Emperor, who moreover did the like by the Cardinal, cap in hand. Having halted a short time, for the ambassadors and some of the chief personages of the court to kiss his hand, the Emperor proceeded into the town, the Cardinal being always beside him.
Omits particulars of the Cardinal's retinue, the number of his gentlemen and archer guard, all clad in a livery of red satin, as also of the English nobility, being certain that the State is already acquainted with them through the Ambassador Surian.
The Cardinal's lodging was prepared in the identical palace where the Emperor himself resides, and on arriving there the Emperor accompanied him even to the door of his apartment.
Yesterday morning the Emperor and the Cardinal, with their respective courts, and we ambassadors, all proceeded to mass at a church called “Our Lady's;” and at the Cardinal's stirrup were some twenty English gentlemen, all dressed in silk, and with gold chains round their necks.
Although two canopies had been prepared in the church, one for the Emperor and the other for the Cardinal, his Majesty chose him to take place under his own, sharing half the kneeling desk with him; and in like manner, on kissing the Gospel and the “Pax,” the Emperor chose the Cardinal also to kiss them. When the mass ended, Wolsey gave the benediction from the high altar, as usual with legates.
On returning to the palace the Cardinal dined with the Emperor, and they afterwards withdrew together and remained in consultation well nigh two hours. Then the Cardinal, returning to his apartment, received a visit there from the Lady Margaret. Most evident marks were thus afforded of the very great honour which the Emperor wishes to pay the Cardinal, nor could more be expected.
Understands that the expenses both of the Cardinal and of his entire retinue, exceeding (as already stated) 1,050 horsemen, are defrayed by the Emperor, who thus chooses to reciprocate similar munificence displayed towards himself by the King of England on his landing there when he returned from Spain to Flanders.
This morning (the 16th) the Cardinal received a visit from the King of Denmark, who had not chosen to attend his entry. Has been told that they remained alone together for nearly half an hour; and that the Cardinal accompanied the King to the bottom of the stair, and no farther. (fn. 1)
On the preceding afternoon he (Contarini) sent his secretary to the Cardinal's court, to acquaint him with his wish to visit him on behalf of the Signory. The reply from one of his attendants purported that for that day there was no opportunity, as the Cardinal was expecting an interview with the Lady Margaret, which in fact took place, and that the secretary must return today, when the appointment should be made. So this morning he went accordingly, and received an apology on account of the audience of the King of Denmark; and on returning this afternoon they postponed him till tomorrow, as the Cardinal was about to confer with the Emperor. Has, therefore, not failed demonstrating his readiness to pay this compliment. Will, however, endeavour to obtain admission tomorrow, and address the Cardinal in such language as expedient at the present moment for the Signory's interests, understanding that he (Wolsey) has the management of everything in his hands.
Has been unable, down to the present time, to ascertain the nature of Cardinal Wolsey's discourse with the Emperor. In order to elicit something, went yesterday to the Nuncio [Caracciolo], and found him in a pensive mood. Was told by him that from the time Wolsey landed at Calais until now he the Cardinal had held daily private conferences with the Chancellor [Gattinara], “solus cum solo,” but nothing important had been communicated to him. This disturbed the Nuncio not a little, he being apprehensive of some agreement between the Emperor and France, concerning which Surian had written that Cardinal Wolsey had told him he entertained fair hopes of accomplishing it.
These hopes were confirmed to him (Contarini) by one of Cardinal Wolsey's secretaries, named Peter Vannes, a Lucchese. Yesterday morning in the church was accosted by Vannes, who delivered the letter from Surian. Took Vannes to dine with him. In the course of conversation Vannes said, “These Flemings ask me whether my master is come to make war or peace, they being of opinion that his coming must encourage hostilities; at which I merely smile, knowing that Cardinal Wolsey seeks nothing but peace.”
This statement was in accordance with reason, because Wolsey had made the French ambassadors remain at Calais.
Bruges, 16th August 1521.
[Italian, 5 pages.]
Aug. 17. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 58, St. Mark's Library. 299. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Has today made every possible effort to visit Cardinal Wolsey, but was unable to obtain audience, as the Cardinal has been occupied incessantly, both at his own council board, and also with the Emperor, with whom and with the Lady Margaret he has passed the whole day; and be is still with them, it being now 7h. 30m. p.m.
Is assured through several channels that the business which the Cardinal is negotiating with the Emperor merely relates to peace between France and the Emperor. The majority of the court is of opinion that it will not be effected; and this opinion is shared by the Papal Nuncio, with whom he (Contarini) conversed today when accompanying the King of Denmark on his departure from Bruges. The Nuncio appeared to be in much better spirits than he was the day before yesterday. Can scarcely believe, however, that so great a personage as Cardinal Wolsey, after holding frequent conferences with the Chancellor on the subject at Calais, and proceeding thence to Bruges, would return re infectâ.
The Emperor's departure hence is announced for Monday. Doubts this, because Cardinal Wolsey's attendants say they do not know when he will move. Thinks the Emperor will precede him.
Bruges, 17th August 1521.
[Italian, 1¼ pages.]
Aug. 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 207. 300. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
On the departure of Cardinal Wolsey for Bruges, he chose the French ambassadors and him (Surian) to remain at Calais until his return, and although he promised to send them frequent advices nothing has been heard since his departure. It is believed that the messengers are not allowed to pass Rovelim [Gravelines?]. A messenger whom Mons. de la Bastie, the French ambassador, sent to [from?] Calais was detained at the passes.
Was told by the Chancellor Duprat, that Robert de la Marck had made a truce for a week, and was at a place of his called Sédan, under which the Imperial forces were encamped, and that the most Christian King was sending Mons. de Mézières with a succour of 500 spears and 500 infantry. The Chancellor was not of opinion that a truce would be made.
Calais, 18th August. Registered by Sanuto, 7th September.
Aug. 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 245. 301. Giovanni Badger to the Doge and Signory.
Madame [Louise] told him there were letters from Calais, dated the 12th, that the Cardinal was going to Bruges.
Autun, 18th August, Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
[Extract, Italian.]
Aug. 19. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 59, St. Mark's Library. 302. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Both yesterday and this morning endeavoured to obtain admission to Cardinal Wolsey, but failed in the attempt, as moreover was the the case with the Papal Nuncios [Caracciolo and Ghinucci], who, like himself, went to the Cardinal's lodgings for audience in vain.
Yesterday morning, when the Cardinal went forth to ride with the Emperor [to church?], presented himself, and announced his wish to pay his respects on behalf of the Signory. The Cardinal apologized for being unable to receive him, owing to a press of business, but appointed him this morning, the 19th, when the Cardinal excused himself from giving audience, as he must confer with the Emperor, and subsequently in the afternoon receive the Nuncios, with whom he expected to remain some while; so that he was compelled to defer the audience till tomorrow.
Has solicited this visit both for the sake of keeping the Cardinal, who exercises such vast authority, well affected toward the State, and likewise for the sake of eliciting from him in the course of conversation something about the interminable consultations held by him with the Emperor. Concerning these consultations nothing authentic can be ascertained; but conjectures that they relate to this peace between the Emperor and France; although others are of a different opinion. At any rate, supposes the business negotiated between them has been already brought to some conclusion, because on the preceding morning, when in Cardinal Wolsey's antechamber, Peter Vannes said to him, “I can tell you nothing authentic; but last evening at half-past nine my master returned home in great glee from the Emperor, and was in good spirits the whole of that evening, which makes me augur well.” Remarked also that on the same morning (the 18th) the Emperor's apparel was of gold brocade, a material which he (Contarini) had never hitherto seen him wear on the highest holydays; (fn. 2) Cardinal Wolsey being clad in crimson satin. Moreover, the church to which the Emperor went, was Saint James', a saint to whom his Majesty is especially devoted, he being prior of his order. (fn. 3) The ambassadors were invited to accompany him. The Emperor also had the mass of Holy the Ghost sung; and the celebration of that mass was remarked by the Nuncio, Caracciolo, who being his (Contarini's) neighbour at the ceremony, turned to him, and said, “Domine orator, did you attend to this mass?” Answered in the affirmative, adding that it was the mass of the Holy Ghost. Caracciolo rejoined, “These Imperialists have assuredly concluded the business;” and after many other remarks, said, “Did I not tell you at Ghent that an agreement and marriage were in course of negotiation between the King of England and the Emperor.” Admitted this; and then Caracciolo continued, “I am of opinion that the treaty is now ratified, and thus” (to use the Nuncio's own phrase) “the French will find themselves without a leg to stand on (fn. 4).” Replied that all this was possible, but that as the French ambassadors were at Calais, awaiting the result of this interview, it would seem strange should the Emperor and Cardinal Wolsey have formed such a resolve. Besides many other arguments in support of his surmise, Caracciolo said, “Similar practices are of frequent occurrence, and therefore your Signory would do wisely to act with reserve;” urging him (Contarini) by all means to take this course, as it would be much for the interest of the State to procrastinate with the French and gain time.
On coming away from the mass, invited an English gentleman, by name Master Thomas More, a very learned man, (fn. 5) to dine with him. He had accompanied Cardinal Wolsey to Bruges. During dinner discussed the business negotiated by Wolsey with the Emperor, but More did not drop the slightest hint of any other treaty than that of peace between the King of France and his Imperial Majesty.
Finally, last evening visited the Emperor's confessor, and acquainted him with the siege of Belgrade by Sultan Solyman, saying that as Cardinal Wolsey was then at Bruges it would be a fitting moment to conclude a peace so important for the Christian commonwealth. Requested the confessor to exert himself, as he said at Ghent was his intention. The confessor replied that he would willingly speak to the Emperor and do his utmost, remarking that during the last few days his Majesty appeared to be less ardent for war than he had been previously, and was indeed very calm and tranquil.
The confessor also said that he had spoken with the chief confidants of Cardinal Wolsey, and understood him to be extremely intent on the conclusion of the peace.
Bruges, 19th August 1521.
[Italian, 3 pages.]
Aug. 19. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 203. 303. Venetian Embassy in England.
Motion made in the Senate for a letter of reply to the ambassador in England, to contradict the calumny reproaching the State with a wish for war; to proclaim their desire for peace; to thank the King for his regard for the Republic; to inform him that the Flanders galleys have already sailed, and to ask for the safeconduct.
Ayes, 197.
Aug. 19. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 19. 304. The Doge and Senate to Antonio Surian, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Perceive what had been said by the King and Cardinal about the disturbances of Italy, Wolsey apparently having blamed the Signory for assisting the most Christian King. Call God to witness how averse they are to war, not only in Italy, but throughout Christendom. When, some months ago, a league was being negotiated between the Pope, the King of France, and the Signory, the Cardinal considered that triple alliance likely to produce a bad effect on the Emperor, and therefore desired Surian to write in his name to them to delay for certain sage reasons.
The State then held his advice in great account, but now the Pope and the Emperor have leagued against the most Christian King, with whom the Signory is allied, as known to the whole world. They therefore could not fail to render such assistance as they were bound, although this was most burdensome, they still suffering from the inconveniences of the past war. Have not, however, failed to represent (and continue doing so) constantly to the Pope and to both their Majesties how earnestly the State wishes to see them at peace. Praise him (Surian) for what he said to the King and Cardinal about the desire of the State for tranquillity, and instruct him to exhort both one and the other to employ their authority to that effect, by means of which they hope for a good result. Trust the King and Cardinal will take this reply in good part.
To give assurance that the Signory will mediate for peace; to thank the King for having said that in any agreement between those sovereigns due regard would he had for the Republic; and to pay similar compliments to the Cardinal.
The Flanders galleys left Venice many days ago. Although the voyage may be made in safety throughout, are nevertheless grateful to the King for his gracious guarantee, and would take it as a great favour if he wrote to the Emperor in recommendation of the galleys, that they may be the more protected.
Touching Turkish affairs and the invasion of Hungary, would to God that they were not in reality such as described by them! But Cardinal Wolsey will have heard from every quarter that they have proved veracious intelligencers.
Ayes, 194. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 53 lines.]
Aug. 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 297. 305. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
A report circulated that Robert de la Marck had surrendered Sédan on condition that he and his wife and children were to be left free. The Chancellor Duprat said this report was untrue, and that the King of France was sending Mons. de Mézières to assist De la Marck. Also that the Emperor had 13,000 men with the Count of Nassau, and the other side numbered 17,000. That Cardinal Wolsey was returning to Calais, and that he (Duprat?) would be content to make a truce for 10 years, provided Navarre be restored to the King, or the same Prince of the blood (Regulo) be appointed king as before. He then said the King of France would have 30,000 men, viz., 1,400 spears, 4,000 light horse, and the band and rear band (banda e rebanda) of infantry; and that they, the four ambassadors, had written to the King advising him accordingly.
Calais, 20th August. Registered by Sanuto, 7th September.
Aug. 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 297. 306. The Same to the Same.
Arrival here from Bruges of a messenger from the Cardinal, with letters of credence, namely, . . . . . . [Francis Bryan], gentleman of the King's chamber, (fn. 6) who told the French ambassadors they were not to be surprised at the Cardinal having so long delayed writing, as it was for the sake of [first] concluding the arrangement, which he hoped to accomplish; that he was returning to Calais with the Imperial ambassadors to discuss the matter; and that this disinclination on the part of the Emperor to make terms, and his demonstration of refusal, were for the purpose of previously levying certain moneys due to him from Flanders, Brabant, and Valois. He also mentioned the receipt of letters from the High Constable [Inigo de Velasco], announcing that the commons of Castile had united against the Emperor.
Calais, 20th August. Registered by Sanuto, 7th September.
Aug. 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 253. 307. Giovanni Badoer, to the Signory.
Told by Madame that Cardinal Wolsey was going from Calais to Bruges to the Emperor, and that the French ambassadors would remain at Boulogne, where they could await his return with greater honour.
Autun, 20th August. Registered by Sanuto, 31st August.
Aug. 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 296. 308. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Master Bryan has apologized to the French ambassadors on behalf of the Cardinal, saying that he had not failed doing his utmost to effect the conclusion, (fn. 7) and was to depart on the 22nd for the purpose of returning to Calais with the Imperial ambassadors. The French ambassadors made answer to the Cardinal that they would wait for him. Bryan returns post to Bruges. He made his statement in the presence of the Treasurer of Calais [Sir William Sandys?]. They then pressed Bryan to breakfast with them, in order to ascertain whether he had anything else to tell. Bryan said he had no farther communication to make.
Was told by the Chancellor [Duprat] that the King of Denmark sent to Cardinal Wolsey at Bruges, saying he was about to depart, and would be glad to speak to him. To this message the Cardinal made answer, that as the representative of the King of England, it did not seem to him decorous to pay the visit; so the King, without saying anything more to him, departed in great wrath. Thus the hatred between the Danes and the English will continue. (fn. 8)
Calais, 21st August. Registered by Sanuto, 7th September.
Aug. 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 298. 309. The Same to the Same.
A messenger has arrived post from Bruges, sent to the King [Henry] by Cardinal Wolsey. He says an arrangement has been made, and that the Cardinal is coming to Calais with the Imperial ambassadors, who will be accompanied by the Count of Cariati.
The Governor of Boulogne [Anthony de la Fayette] has commenced making forays upon the Emperor's subjects, and has plundered them considerably, doing them great damage.
Has heard of the election of the second ambassador [by the Senate]; requests that he (the new ambassador) may be despatched and supplied with money, so that he (Surian) may return home; and for this favour he very earnestly prays.
Calais, 22nd August. Registered by Sanuto, 7th September.
Aug. 22. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 60, St. Mark's Library. 310. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Today dined with the Imperial Chancellor, Gattinara, who told him that Cardinal Wolsey wanted to make peace between the two crowns, but that the Emperor rejected it, unless the King of France made compensation for damages and costs, with certain other conditions, the latter having violated the confederacy by commencing hostilities. The Emperor therefore charged Cardinal Wolsey to require the King of England to declare for him, justd formam fœderis, and the Cardinal, on the other hand, alleged a variety of reasons, saying at length, that as both parties considered themselves in the right, it was necessary to make a truce, so as to afford time for sifting the matter. This truce was rejected by the Emperor, who said it was notorious that France had been the first to break the confederacy, and he had already incurred the expense of a war.
Told the Chancellor that it seemed strange to many people for so great a personage, after negotiating the business during some days at Calais, to come to Bruges, and depart thence re infectà. The Chancellor replied, “I will tell you; this man (costai, Wolsey) expected to find the Emperor a lad in leading strings, as he was under Monsieur de Chièvres, but discovers him to be of a different disposition.”
In rejoinder to his (Contarini's) arguments in favour of peace, the Chancellor said, “In truth this outrageous presumption on the part of the King of France is owing exclusively to the desire for peace entertained by the Emperor and Mons. de Chièvres, which was carried to such an extent that it subjected the Emperor to the contumely of the King of France; so that for the present there will be neither peace nor truce, unless the French come with some other terms.”
Has heard from another quarter likewise that there would be neither peace nor truce, and the Papal Nuncio dropped a hint that the King of England would at length declare himself in favour of the Emperor.
This affair has been treated solely by the following four individuals, namely, the Emperor, Cardinal Wolsey, the Lady Margaret, and the Chancellor Gattinara; so that to come at the truth is well nigh impossible, though it is true that after the first few days the Papal Nuncios [Caracciolo and Ghinucci] held long conferences both with the Cardinal and the Emperor.
Bruges, 22nd August 1521.
[Italian, 5½ pages.]
Aug. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 258. 311. The State to Antonio Surian.
Desiring him to assist Hironimo da Molin, who is going to England for the recovery of a debt due to him from Antonio Bavarin.
Aug. 24. Contarini's Original Letter Book, 312. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Letter no. 61, St. Mark's Library.
The negotiations between the Emperor and Cardinal Wolsey are discussed most secretly. The conferences have been held by the Emperor, Cardinal Wolsey, the Lady Margaret, and the Chancellor without the intervention of any other personages, although for the last four days the negotiations seem to have been communicated to the two Nuncios, who, both yesterday and today, attended the consultations. Believes (his news coming from the house of one of the Nuncios) that Cardinal Wolsey has been most urgent for peace between the Emperor and France, but the Emperor declined the proposals, telling the Cardinal that the Pope, whom he could not disappoint, was the person who rejected both peace and truce; which I believe is the truth. Caracciolo, the Nuncio resident with the Emperor, rather resented this, but nevertheless boldly affirmed the like to Cardinal Wolsey, assigning various reasons, especially that the Pope (at whose request many persons in the Milanese had shown themselves hostile to the French) would not permit the ruin of his partisans.
This plan being thus disapproved, another project was then devised for bringing over the King of England to the Emperor's side. Is assured that articles have been drawn up, but has not been able to learn their substance; though the Nuncios received a copy of them, which they are to forward to Rome by a special messenger.
This much he has been able to elicit from a sure quarter, but the rumours current in the Court are various. Some say the war will continue, whilst others anticipate an adjustment, basing their expectations on the stay of the French ambassadors at Calais—an inference which does not appear unreasonable, unless Cardinal Wolsey means to deceive France entirely, though the French are doubtless on the watch for information concerning these proceedings, and are perhaps better acquainted with them than he (Contarini), for he is at present shunned well nigh by everybody, because the State adheres to France: so that with regard to the news of the Imperial Court he remains as it were on the scent (tanquam naves ad cibum).
At length, on the day before yesterday, obtained audience of Cardinal Wolsey, and paid him such compliments in the Signory's name as were required by his rank and authority and the nature of the present times, assuring him of the faith and confidence reposed in him by the State, by reason of his good offices in favour of Venice.
The Cardinal apologized for not having admitted him sooner, on account of his daily conferences with the Emperor, declared himself well affected towards the State, and said he wished to speak to him about matters of interest for Venice, desiring him to come on the morrow. Went accordingly, and was told by Wolsey that the moment was not opportune, and that he was not to take the trouble of returning, as he (Wolsey) would send for him.
The Cardinal was to have departed today, and his baggage waggons are already prepared, but he will possibly remain until Monday.
Bruges, 24th August 1521.
[Italian, 5 pages.]
Aug. 24. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 62, St. Mark's Library. 313. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Had received a visit from the same individual who communicated to him the treaty between the Pope and the Emperor. Considers this intelligencer trustworthy. Speaking with him about these protracted conferences between the Emperor and Cardinal Wolsey, inquired what his visitor knew about them. He answered, “Magnifico ambassador, I am aware of your anxiety for peace, but declare, under oath, the information having reached me from a good quarter,”—(suspects that “quarter” is none other than the secretary of the Nuncio Caracciolo,)—” that in these negotiations for peace there was a question of the Signory's territories, nor could it have been effected otherwise than to the detriment of the State.” He then gave him (Contarini) to understand that the King of France, by means of Cardinal Wolsey, offered the Emperor, if he would come to an agreement with him, his assistance for the recovery of the Imperial fiefs in Italy, including even those occupied by the Signory; but the Emperor, choosing to abide by his promise to the Pope, rejected all these offers, and determined for the present to have neither peace nor truce with France. His visitor added other particulars about the language used by the Nuncio to Cardinal Wolsey on this occasian; so he (Contarini) thought fit, when with the Chancellor Gattinara, to sound him on the subject, saying, in the course of conversation, that the State could not break faith with France, having no occasion or cause for doing so; which opinion he repeated twice; but neither by word nor gesture did the Chancellor contradict him, or imply that the intention of the King of France was at variance with his belief. Leaves the State to form its own conclusions.
Bruges. 24th August 1521.
[Italian, 1¼£ page.]
Aug. 25. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 333. 314. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
The King of France has recalled Mons. de la Palisse, one of his ambassadors at Calais. Is told by the Chancellor [Duprat] that the King is at Troyes, in Champagne, and means to give battle to the Emperor, whose forces have had time to muster by reason of the six weeks' truce made by Robert de la Marck, who had not accepted the French succour of 500 spears and 300 infantry under Mons. de Naxares [sic, Mézières], as he did not trust the King. The Pope and the Emperor are at strife, because the Tyrolese infantry have not been sent into Italy.
Cardinal Wolsey has not quitted Bruges, so we remain in suspense.
Calais, 25th August. Registered by Sanuto, 16th September.
Aug. 26. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter No. 63, St. Mark's Library. 315. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
On the 24th the Chancellor remained closeted with the English privy counsellors who accompanied Cardinal Wolsey to Bruges until 9 p.m. Was therefore unable to see him until the 25th. During his visit the Emperor's late Audiencier [Philip Haneton], who had been sent to England from Brussels, and was now returned, presented himself to the Chancellor, who gave the Audiencier certain articles of agreement. From afar cast his eye slyly and read the commencement thus, “In nomine Domini;” and, as they were turning over the pages or sheets together, saw that each sheet was numbered, and that the last was either 13 or 14. Then commenced talking with the Chancellor about Wolsey's negotiations, and was told by him that the Cardinal had proposed various forms and conditions of peace. Is at a loss to form any opinion. On the one hand, everybody says the war will continue. On the other, the interminable conferences, attended by so great a personage as the Cardinal, incline him to believe in some adjustment; and supposing that adjustment to be prejudicial to France, as reported, it would be unreasonable for the Cardinal to detain the French ambassadors at Calais. Knows that they are well informed, but gives no opinion with regard to their having made no communication to Surian.
Cardinal Wolsey is to quit Bruges this afternoon, but has not sent for him according to promise. The Chancellor is to accompany Wolsey to Calais.
Bruges, 26th August 1521.
[Italian, 2½ pages.]
Aug. 26. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 64, St. Mark's Library. 316. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
As Cardinal Wolsey was to quit Bruges this afternoon, determined to accompany him some two or three miles beyond the town, for the payment of such compliments as might prove advantageous for the State, and also in the hope of eliciting something from him on the road.
The Emperor escorted the Cardinal outside the gates of Bruges; and then, after embracing him, proceeded on his way to a villa four leagues distant.
Having followed Wolsey and paid the usual compliments, told him how much the State desired the conclusion of the peace, and how much reliance it placed on the Cardinal, being aware that he had the interests of the Signory at heart.
The Cardinal replied that his King's intention and his own were to make this peace, for which purpose he had crossed the Channel and come to Bruges, where he encountered very great difficulties both on one side and the other, but above all the Pope's affairs had embarrassed him extremely, the Emperor having made his Holiness a variety of promises The Cardinal then added that matters had nevertheless been brought to a good pass, and that the Chancellor and some other Imperial ambassadors were accompanying him to Calais with a commission which they lacked at the first conference, when, in fact, they had none whatever, and that he trusted the conclusion would be effected, as he should consider it a great disgrace for his King and himself if he had to return re infectâ. The Cardinal desired him to write to the State, to abstain from showing more favour to one side than to the other, lest the negotiations be thus rendered more difficult.
Returned thanks for the communication, saying the State had hitherto done its utmost in aid of a result so desirable for Christendom, and would not fail to persevere in the same course. Having said this, the Cardinal did not choose him to proceed farther: so took leave.
Bruges, 26th August 1521.
[Italian, 1 page.]
Aug. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 296. 317. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
King Francis told him he had received letters from Calais, from the Chancellor [Duprat], to whom he wrote desiring him not to make any farther agreement, save on the following terms:—
The Emperor not to come with an army into Italy; and to make terms with the Signory. To do homage to him for Flanders; pay him the arrears of tribute due for the kingdom of Naples; and restore the kingdom of Navarre.
Siamburn [Sombernon?], 27th August. Registered by Sanuto, 7th September.
Aug. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 333. 318. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Departure of Cardinal Wolsey from Bruges on the 26th. He will arrive at Calais on the 28th.
Calais, 27th August. Registered by Sanuto, 16th September.
Aug. 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 333. 319. The Same to the Same.
The French ambassadors, perceiving that Cardinal Wolsey did not make his appearance, wrote to him that he delayed extremely, and that their stay at Calais was dishonorable for the King of France. So the Cardinal sent the Master of the Horse of the King; of England [Sir Henry Guylford?], (fn. 9) —who arrived at Calais on the evening of the 27th,—to tell them that he had intended to quit Bruges on the 22nd, but the Papal Nuncio complained to the Emperor that the King of England was not at liberty to negotiate any agreement without the consent of the Pope, who knew nothing of these negotiations. On this account Cardinal Wolsey postponed his departure, and remonstrated with the Emperor, saying the Emperor either held the Pope in greater account than his King, or else had greater regard for the King of England than for his Holiness. (fn. 10) At length the Emperor sent his ambassadors with the Cardinal, namely, the Chancellor [Gattinara], the Count of Cariati in lieu of Mons. de Berghes, and a bishop (fn. 11) in the stead of the Auditor [Haneton]. Cardinal Wolsey is somewhat indisposed, and travels in a litter. He is to arrive at Calais on the 29th. The coming of the Count of Cariati is not a good sign. (fn. 12) The Imperial forces are continuing their attack on France at a place called Mouzon; yet there will be this advantage, that should Cardinal Wolsey fail to make the agreement, the King of England will either take part with the King of France, or not be opposed to him; so that much will have been gained by Wolsey's coming to Calais.
Calais, 28th August. Registered by Sanuto, 16th September.
Aug. 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 334. 320. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Today, at 5 p.m. (sic), Cardinal Wolsey arrived at Calais. He was visited by the French ambassadors, to whom he said he had found the Emperor very obdurate, but had so pressed him, that at length he said he could do nothing because he had made an agreement with the Pope. Thereupon the Cardinal was obliged, as Legate, to promise the Emperor that the Pope should be satisfied with the convention that would be made; and he also promised [the like] for the most Christian King. He acted in such wise that the Pope will send the mandate of ratification. Tomorrow [the 30th of August] a mass of the Holy Ghost is to be celebrated, and daily at 2 p.m., they [the ambassadors] are to assemble at the Conference, to try and conclude this agreement.
The Imperial ambassadors who accompanied Cardinal Wolsey were the Chancellor [Gattinara], the Count of Cariati, the Bishop of Badajoz, Dom. Sigismondo de —, of the kingdom of Naples, and another doctor, by name-.
Yesterday morning was told by Chancellor Duprat that some letters had been intercepted, written by the Pope to the Emperor, complaining that the latter had not sent the lansquenets who were at Trent to the army, and lamenting that he himself had declared against the King of France, as he was apprehensive of becoming an insignificant priest. (fn. 13) Duprat said he believed that Marc' Antonio Colonna, who had arrived at the French Court from Rome, had made some communication on behalf of the Pope.
Calais, 29th August. Registered by Sanuto, 16th September.
Aug. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxi. p. 334. 321. The Same to the Same.
Today the Conference assembled at 2 p.m., namely, Cardinal Wolsey, the Papal Nuncio [Ghinucci], the Imperial and French ambassadors, and himself (Surian). The Cardinal commenced by telling the ambassadors he had been much honoured by the Emperor, and had experienced great difficulty in forming any agreement, by reason of the oath made to the Pope by the Emperor, that he would not negotiate any agreement with the most Christian King; so, for the sake of conferring so great a benefit on Christendom, he promised, in the name of the Pope, and also on behalf of the most Christian King, that they would ratify, &c.; adding other words in favour of some agreement. Chancellor Duprat answered him, that the Pope was in the wrong, having no cause to be opposed to his King, and that his Holiness had been the person who sought to deprive him of the duchy of Milan.
Among the Imperial ambassadors is Mons. de Roeux, and Mons. de la Guiche and Mons. Poillot are the leaders of this conference [on the French side].
Cardinal Wolsey then made four demands—first, that the English (fn. 14) fishermen should be allowed to fish in the French waters, so that fish might be provided for so large an assembly; secondly, that the vessels of both parties in English ports should not be molested; thirdly, that in Picardy, &c. no forays should be made; fourthly, that the couriers should be allowed to pass free, and the places be appointed (sic). All these demands were conceded by the French ambassadors.
Calais, 30th August. Registered by Sanuto, 16th September.


  • 1. For other particulars concerning this visit, see “State Papers,” vol. I., p. 37.
  • 2. By a letter from Wolsey to Henry VIII., dated Bruges, 19th August 1521 (State Papers, vol. i. pp. 38–40), it is seen that the “interminable consultations,” between the Cardinal and the Emperor and the Lady Margaret related to the betrothal of the Emperor to the Princess Mary, so it may be inferred that for her sake he wore gold brocade on the on the 18th of August 1521.
  • 3. The order of Santiago de Compostella, founded 1170. The patron saint of the order of the Fleece was St. Andrew.
  • 4. “Et Francesi anderanno a gambe levate.”
  • 5. “Uno cavalier Englese molto litterato che se chiama messer Thoma Moro.”
  • 6. “Maestro di camera del Re.” Bryan is styled “gentleman of the King's Privy Chamber,” and “cupbearer for the King,” in Brewer's Calendar, Henry VIII., vol II., no. 2735.
  • 7. By Hall's Chronicle it is seen that Francis Brian had in 1518–19 shown himself in favour of France.
  • 8. For Wolsey's own account of his interviews with the King of Denmark, both in the Emperor's garden at Bruges and at his own lodging, see “State Papers,” vol. I., part 1., pp. 37, 38.
  • 9. In the original “Gran Scudier.” Possibly the person meant was the Lord Chamberlain, Charles Karl of Worcester, See “State Papers,” vol. I. p. 29, letter from Wolsey to Henry VIII., date Calais, 4th August. In the Italian accounts of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, “Gran Scudier “certainly signifies Master of the Horse.
  • 10. The words in the original are, “e si dolse con l'Imperador di questo, dicendo ò soa Maiestà, ferà più caxo dil Papa che dil suo Re, ò dil suo Re chè dil Papa.”
  • 11. Bernard de Mesa, Bishop of Badajoz. See Surian's next letter.
  • 12. Concerning Giambatista Spinelli, Count of Cariati, who was a staunch Imperialist, and had been diplomatically employed by the Emperor Maximilian, see Mr. Brewer's Calendars, 1509–1523.
  • 13. “Dubitando diventar minimo prete.”
  • 14. “Flemish,” in Surian's letter of the 2nd September.